A grade school in a wealthy Pennsylvania school district is requiring children to study a book called “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness,” which claims “white people who relate to police officers or decline to watch the news are complicit in racism.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported Gladwyne Elementary in Lower Merion School District assigned the book for fourth and fifth graders.
The curriculum also assigns “A Kid’s Book About Racism” to kindergarten and first graders, the report said.
Some parents aren’t happy, and the Beacon reported Elana Fishbein, the mother of two boys, wrote to the district superintendent and board demanding the school halt its “cultural proficiency” curriculum.
“The book teaches kids not only to defy parents but to hate themselves. To hate their parents also because they are white,” she said. “By default, [the kids] are white, and they’re privileged, and they’re bad. [The school] is teaching this to little kids.”
The new lessons were announced to parents by email. The district claimed its existing classes on equality and race are not sufficient to get its message across to students.
“Generally, each class also engages in a cultural proficiency lesson; however, we realize that this is not enough,” Gladwyne principal Veronica Ellers wrote in an email obtained by the Free Beacon. “We plan to continue designing lessons that promote anti-racist actions in the upcoming 20-21 school year and beyond.”
A district spokeswoman, Amy Buckman, said the district wanted an “anti-racist curriculum” for students and insisted on “appropriate books that raise awareness of the very real issues of racism and privilege.”
Fishbein said it’s not a surprise that few parents are objecting openly.
“If you say anything that’s racist according to the school or parent’s definition of racism, you’re out,” Fishbein warned. “You’re called a racist. No wonder the parents don’t talk.”