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February 2022

So Many Fs

“The kids don’t even want this stuff,” says [high-school English teacher, Kali] Fontanilla, noting that the ethnic studies course replaced a much more popular health class - in the midst of a pandemic, no less. “Most of them are just like, ‘Why do we have to take this class?’”

Robby Soave on when classroom race-hustling doesn’t impress the kids

As the classroom in question is in Salinas, California, where the children in question are overwhelmingly Hispanic, and therefore supposedly oppressed, and supposedly hungry for “critical race theory,” you can imagine the complications. It turns out that when Hispanic children turn up to learn English as a second language, they’re not overly thrilled to find their time being spent on “institutional, internalised, ideological, and interpersonal oppression.” Or at being told that, on account of not being white, they may suffer from “intergenerational trauma.” Or spending class time on a “privilege quiz,” in which they must rank their imagined victimhood, while comparing “intersectional rainbows.”

However, the disaffection of supposed beneficiaries seems unlikely to deter adult enthusiasts.

Beginning with the class of 2030, all public high school students in California will now have enrol in the same sort of course that Fontanilla’s students already took.

Ms Fontanilla, who happens to be black, isn’t impressed either. Cultivating victimhood and racial resentment is not, she feels, an ideal use of her students’ time, or indeed her own. Believing that parents had a right to know exactly what their children are being taught, she wrote a letter of protest to the school board. It was read aloud during a meeting at which parents were present:

“I do not appreciate constantly being pandered to and treated differently because of the colour of my skin, especially since I did not have the freedom to not go along with it,” Fontanilla wrote, warning that the curriculum was an attempt at left-wing indoctrination. The statement elicited cheers from other parents attending the meeting. In response, the school board prohibited anti-CRT comments at its next public gathering.

And if the air of somewhat creepy condescension isn’t sufficiently obvious,

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