REPORT: Public School Hosts Training That Touts ‘Free, Antiracist Therapy’ For White Teachers

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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A San Diego public school district reportedly held a training that told teachers that “whiteness” caused failing schools and that white teachers must undergo “antiracist therapy” to remedy their ignorance, Christopher Rufo, a scholar at the Discovery Institute, reported Thursday.

The training reportedly took place within the San Diego Unified School Districts (SDUSD) in California, which includes more than 100 schools. Education scholar Bettina Love leads the virtual training, titled “Abolitionist Teaching, Co-Conspirators & Educational Justice.” An introductory slide informs viewers that no recording is permitted during the Sept. 29 event which aims to “create anti-racist and restorative communities” throughout the district.

Rufo reports that the whistleblower claimed to have taken notes on the event, starting with Love’s opening statements that “racism runs deep” and points to the “spirit murder” of babies.

The concept of “spirit murder” was first coined by Patricia Williams in 1987 to describe a “form of racial violence that steals and kills the humanity and spirits of people of color.” Love has applied the concept to the “slow death … built on racism” that happens in schools. Another slide shows the Black Lives Matter logo. (RELATED: REPORT: Public School District Holds Training Instructing White Teachers On How To ‘Bankrupt’ Their ‘Privilege’)

In the following slide, Love reportedly says that white students in diversity classes learn about the “ills that plague dark communities” but aren’t given the “context of how Whiteness reproduces poverty, failing schools, high unemployment, school closings, and trauma for people of color.”

“White educators must take responsibility — fragile white folks,” Love reportedly said, according to the notes. “Need to walk through white supremacy culture. Try to have conversation with White and it goes over their head,” Love continues, according to the notes.

The next slide says that “Reform will not work,” and then promotes her book on “abolitionist teaching” which purports to be a form of pedagogy that seeks to “eliminate what is oppressive, not reform it, no reimagine it, but remove oppression from its roots.”

To develop abolitionist educators, Love says teachers should demand that white educators receive “free, antiracist therapy” and that more funding should go toward deepening these teachings.

SDUSD and Love, a professor at the University of Georgia, have not responded to separate requests for comment in time for publication.

Rufo has previously reported whistleblower documents from SDUSD in a seemingly similar training, but it’s unclear if the training involving Love is seperate. The district reportedly showed teachers slides claiming that their ability to “thrive” in the country is “preserved at every level of power” with no required effort on their part because they’re white. The training also referenced Ibram Kendi, the founding director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

Numerous public school districts across the country have held similar sessions focusing on “whiteness” and instructing teachers on how to fight systemic racism, especially following nationwide protests and riots in the summer after the death of George Floyd.