Teachers Force-Fed a Slice of ‘Privilege Pie’ at Washington High School

It’s still two months until Thanksgiving, and already one school district in Washington is serving up pie to its staff. Not pumpkin pie. Not apple or cherry. Rather, teachers at Tumwater High School recently were force-fed a big slice of “privilege pie.”

According to one employee, teachers in the district were required to attend diversity training where they were asked to examine their privilege. As part of the training, the teachers were instructed to color in a “privilege pie” – a pie chart with several so-called privileges, including being white, cisgender male, Christian, heterosexual, and U.S. born.

“The more we colored in, the more privileged we were,” the teacher, whose name was not released, told Parents Defending Education, a nonprofit that fights classroom indoctrination and activist-driven agendas in U.S. schools.

“I was so upset because we have so much to do and I would really prefer to use that time to design effective instruction or communicate with families,” the teacher said, according to a quote released by Parents Defending Education. “Instead, I’m sitting there for two hours learning about how I am privileged because of my skin color and about micro-aggressions.”

An example of a “privilege pie” is included in a 23-page online Power Point presentation documenting the diversity efforts at Tumwater High School. The title of the Power Point is “Tumwater High School: We’re White, We’re Interested. How Do We Get Started?” The Power Point is posted on the website of the Washington Association of School Administrators.

According to the Power Point, the school’s staff started the diversity training by “examining implicit bias,” which led to “discussions of white privilege.” They also shared personal stories, including “where I’m from poems.”

They learned about the “pyramid of white supremacy,” which ranges from indifference and minimization to violence and genocide. According to the pyramid, “remaining apolitical,” “avoiding confrontations with racist family members,” believing that “it doesn’t matter who you vote for,” denying white privilege, and the one-time American ideal of colorblindness are all examples of white supremacy.

Tumwater High School’s white supremacy pyramid teacher training document.
Tumwater High School’s white supremacy pyramid teacher training document.

Tumwater High’s student body is about 75 percent white, according to the Power Point.

The teacher who spoke to Parent Defending Education said that during the training, the room was “awkwardly silent for most of the time,” and “everyone was terrified to contribute to the discussion we were supposed to be having, lest we offend someone with one of the many micro-aggressions we had just learned about.”

“The thing is, we started with these norms about respect of others’ views, etc., but we all knew darn well that if anyone like me shared their views, we would be shunned,” the teacher said.

Attempts by National Review to reach Tumwater High School principal Jeff Broome on the phone and via email were unsuccessful on Monday.

The news about the “privilege pie” activity and diversity training at Tumwater High School comes less than two months after the resignation of the school’s new director of diversity, equity & inclusion. According to local news reports, Alekcandor Zhdanov, who was recruited to the district from Galveston, Texas, over the summer, resigned in late July after it was revealed he’d posted several memes on Facebook critical of conservatives, Republicans, and Trump supporters.

One meme showed a picture of a black Jesus, and said “If Jesus looked like this would white conservatives still be Christians?” Another meme linked Republicans to the KKK, and another reinterpreted a Donald Trump yard sign to read “RACIST Lives Here.”

During a July Zoom meeting of the district’s equity advisory committee, Zhdanov admitted to posting “incredibly insensitive” memes.

“During a political campaign, things get heated and bothered,” Zhdanov said, according to local news reports of the meeting. “For whatever reason, I contributed to the problem of a very contentious election and political environment that we find ourselves in today. As opposed to being part of the solution.”

Zhdanov worked for the district for less than a month before he resigned.

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