Parents in military families expressed shock and outrage at Fairfax County Public Schools officials after a student exercise called “privilege” bingo singled them out.
Students are given “privilege points” if they are white, male, employed or “involved in extra curricular [sic] activities,” or “feel represented in the media.”
In addition, the curriculum states one has “privilege” if they are a “Military Kid,” which shocked military “parents who pointed out that children of military members must move away from their friends constantly, not see one of their parents for months on end, potentially deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, and risk becoming orphans,” The Daily Wire reported.
Parents who complained received a note from Assistant Superintendent Douglas A. Tyson that noted:
The screen shot you reference comes from an approved FCPS English Curriculum lesson that is centered around students selecting a “choice” test and examining in detail the author’s perspective on a wide-range [sic] of issues.
Students are asked, in the lesson, to read critically and think critically about the author’s perspective on several fronts including the author’s privilege that may or may not be present in the work.
Students are then asked independently and self reflectively to juxtapose their thoughts regarding any perceived privilege they think they may have and how they would potentially rewrite portions of the text. Students are not asked or required to report out their self-reflections. This lesson is an adept vehicle to push student thinking to challenge the author’s thoughts/conclusions and to sharpen their ability to critically lead selected texts.
It’s not clear why the school believes a focus on so-called “privilege” is necessary to a good education.
But Fairfax County is near the Pentagon, so the district contains a lot of military members.
“It collects supplemental funding for educating military families, but many refused to turn in the form giving them the extra cash this year because of perceived derision of those serving their country or because of frustration with other failures of the school system, parents said,” The Daily Wire reported.
The outlet added:
On his first day in office Saturday, new Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) issued an executive order that bans “inherently divisive concepts” that presume “that some students are consciously or unconsciously racist, sexist, or oppressive, and that other students are victims. This denies our students the opportunity to gain important facts, core knowledge, formulate their own opinions, and to think for themselves. Our children deserve far better from their education than to be told what to think.”
The order only applies to state curriculum and actions from the Virginia Department of Education and does not dictate what individual school districts teach.
But it also specifies that it is only the “first step on Day One,” and it casts treating people differently based on race as a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an indication that school districts who continue to promulgate such content could soon stand accused of violating the act.