The Montgomery County Public Schools district in Maryland introduced a policy that would push social justice ideology to students ranging from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12.
Montgomery schools spent more than $450,000 on an “anti-racist audit” for the 2020-21 school year, which resulted in the district implementing policies that push “anti-racist thinking” to all of its students, including those in preschool.
The district will provide a “culturally responsive Prekindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum that promotes equity, respect, anti-racist thinking, and civility,” according to documents obtained by The Daily Wire.
Part of the curriculum will include teachings that claim “the impact of racism on mental health has been deemed a public health crisis.”
The school district announced that it had partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium for around $454,000. These funds would be used to conduct an “anti-racist audit,” which was designed to “examine (the district’s) systems, practices, and policies that do not create access, opportunities, and equitable outcomes for every student’s academic and social-emotional well-being.” The school district went through with the contract even though the district experienced significant budget cuts.
Although the audit is still ongoing, the effects have emerged within curriculum changes, policy changes, school board meetings, and parent-teacher association (PTA) meetings. In a presentation delivered in a PTA meeting, the school district stated that one of its goals “is to be an anti-racist school system.”
In anticipation of this goal, the district has changed the definition of “discrimination” and “racism.”
The district has changed its definition of discrimination to include actions that others may find offensive even if the intentions were not discriminatory in nature.
“Discrimination also includes conduct or practices that may be facially neutral but that have an unjustified disparate impact based on individuals’ actual or perceived personal characteristics,” the new policy says. “Discrimination encompasses racism, sexism, and any other form of institutional prejudice in all their manifestations.”
The district also changed its definition of racism to include the phrase “systemic oppression.”
“Racism means the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another,” the policy reads.
The school board also will be banning language, displays, images, or symbols that they believe will “promote hate.”
The new policy will prohibit “the use of language and/or the display of images and symbols which promote hate and can be reasonably expected to cause substantial disruption to school or district operations or activities.”
It will also change the hiring, retention, and promotion processes to include an “equity lens.” This same ideology will be used for training for “professional staff, curriculum, pedagogy, learning, instructional materials, and assessments designs.”