/ December 29, 2020
Signs of active resistance against leftist indoctrination in America's schools are emerging.
In Nevada, a lawsuit was filed last week in federal court aimed at mandatory “critical race theory” sessions in public schools, alleging violations of First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Meanwhile, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reported that six colleges eliminated all of their restrictive speech codes over the past year.
In the Nevada lawsuit, which is being brought by SchoolHouseRights.org
, a high school senior of mixed race is suing the taxpayer-funded Democracy Prep charter school in Las Vegas over the “coercive, ideological indoctrination” that is central to its Critical Race Theory-based curriculum that forces students to associate aspects of their identity with oppression.
SchoolHouseRights.org said the student, William Clark, and his mother, Gabrielle Clark, argue that he was coerced, under a “Critical Race Theory / Intersectionality”-based curriculum, "to make statements contrary to his personal conscience and beliefs, and he was retaliated against when he objected conscientiously." The case states that this "coercive and intrusive behavior compelled [Clark's] protected speech and invaded his privacy, violating his constitutional rights under the First Amendment and his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment."
The Illinois-based SchoolHouseRights.org believes this civil rights case to be the first of its kind across the nation.
The lawsuit states that the Las Vegas high school's curriculum “inserted consciousness raising and conditioning exercises under the banner of ‘Intersectionality’ and ‘Critical Race Theory.’ These sessions … are not descriptive or informational in nature, but normative and prescriptive: they require pupils to ‘unlearn’ and ‘fight back’ against ‘oppressive’ structures allegedly implicit in their family arrangements, religious beliefs and practices, racial, sexual, and gender identities, all of which they are required to divulge and subject to non-private interrogation.”
“Some racial, sexual, gender and religious identities, once revealed,” the complaint states, “are officially singled out in the programming as inherently problematic, and assigned pejorative moral attributes by Defendants.”
The school principal told Mrs. Clark “that the theoretical basis of the revamped ‘Sociology of Change’ course is known as ‘intersectionality,’ and is inspired by political activist, academic and ‘Critical Race Theory’ proponent Kimberlé Crenshaw,” the complaint states. Crenshaw is a law professor at UCLA and Columbia Law School who is regarded as a leading authority on black feminist legal theory and is said to have coined the term “intersectionality.”
The legal complaint says that, under the curriculum, William Clark was required “to reveal his racial, sexual, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and religious identities,” by his teacher who greeted the students by saying, “Hello my wonderful social justice warriors!” Clark was told the next step would be to determine if parts of his identity “have privilege or oppression attached to it.” Privilege was defined as “the inherent belief in the inferiority of the oppressed group.”
The legal argument the Clarks make is that William is being compelled “to make professions about his racial, sexual, gender and religious identities in verbal class exercises and in graded, written homework assignments which were subject to the scrutiny, interrogation and derogatory labeling of students, teachers and school administrators.” The defendants “are coercing him to accept and affirm politicized and discriminatory principles and statements that he cannot in conscience affirm.”
The lawsuit states that the school repeatedly threatened William “with material harm including a failing grade and non-graduation if he failed to comply with their requirements,” and refused to accommodate his requests for reasonable accommodation.
President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13950 on Sept. 22 prohibiting the military, federal agencies, and federal contractors from promoting the “divisive concepts” that are part of Critical Race Theory in workplace trainings.
The order said critical race theory is an ideology “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.”
Steven Hayward lauded the lawsuit at Power Line Blog
, saying it heralds the beginning of an “active resistance” and a “counterrevolution” against the far-left dominance of American institutions.
“While misguided Millennials lean heavily progressive at the moment, the next generation of young people is going to swing sharply to the right out of rebellion against the stifling conformity of the progressive left that went into hyperdrive this year,” Hayward wrote.
Meanwhile, FIRE’s latest speech code report, "Spotlight on Speech Codes 2021: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses", reveals that 21.3 percent of the 478 colleges and universities analyzed maintain “red light” policies that seriously infringe upon the free speech rights of students. With six schools eliminating speech codes, the percentage dropped by three points, FIRE said.
Read FIRE's report here
Free Press International