Illinois Teacher Sues School District Over ‘Illegal’ Critical Race Theory Trainings

(Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

A teacher in Illinois has filed a lawsuit over Critical Race Theory (CRT) trainings that allegedly divided individuals based on race and perpetuated harmful, racial harmful racial stereotypes.

Stacy Deemar, a drama teacher in Illinois’ Evanston-Skokie district (District 65), filed the federal civil rights complaint in court Tuesday over CRT with the help of the Southeast Legal Foundation, part of journalist and activist Christopher Rufo’s legal coalition that is seeking to get CRT trainings and curriculum struck down in the Supreme Court, according to Fox News.

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

Deemar’s complaint claims that the school district divided teachers according to their race to partake in segregated racial “affinity groups” and directed teachers to read a book titled “Not my Idea” to their students. In the story, the devil makes a “Contract Binding you to Whiteness” with the story’s protagonist, who will receive “stolen land,” “stolen riches,” and “special favors” in return. Whiteness, according to the devil in the story, gives people the license “to mess endlessly with the lives of your friends, neighbors, loved ones, and all fellow humans of COLOR.”

Teachers were also instructed to ask students several pejorative questions about whiteness starting in Pre-K, the suit claimed. The complaint said that the district wanted Pre-K through second-grade teachers to ask their students: “What is your understanding of whiteness?”

The district also sought to undermine the principle of colorblindness, according to the lawsuit. “Pretending not to see color is called color blindness,” the district allegedly told teachers to tell their students. “Color blindness helps racism,” and “Many White people use color blindness to ignore the problem of racism,” the district added, according to the complaint. (RELATED: The Response From Liberals On Resistance To Critical Race Theory Is To Pretend It Doesn’t Exist. The Strategy Will Backfire)

The lawsuit also takes issue with District 65’s embrace of the concept of “equity.” Equity, the district claims, “goes beyond the definition of equality – where students are treated the same – to fostering a barrier free environment where all students’ unique needs are addressed and supported by resources which are allocated in a fiscally responsible manner.”

The school district defends its commitment to equity on its website, which reads, “District 65 is committed to focusing on race as one of the first visible indicators of identity while recognizing that the district’s students hold multiple, intersecting identities such as mental or physical ability, sexual orientation including gender identity and/or expression, religion, economic status, national origin and any other personal characteristics.”

The complaint says the districts aim to ensure equality of outcome, rather than opportunity, which can be disastrous for students and often occurs along racial lines. Deemar’s lawsuit demonstrates this point by delving into a training called “privilege walks,” where participants were told to inspect their privilege on account of their race by scoring themselves. “Near the end of the exercise, the facilitator asks all white people standing in line to step forward,” the complaint claimed.

Because of these trainings, the lawsuit accuses District 65 of violating the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title VI’s prohibition on discrimination at federally-funded educational institutions. Deemar’s lawsuit is seeking just $1.00 in damages, but wants a declaratory judgment and injunction on these practices, Southeastern Legal Foundation General Counsel Kimberly Hermann told Fox News.

“By vowing to define its teachers and students solely by their race, District 65 promotes and reinforces a view of race essentialism that divides Americans into groups based solely on their skin color,” Hermann told Fox News. “District 65 teaches its teachers and students that their whole identity comes from the color of their skin. It teaches them to hate each other. It teaches them not only how to be racist, but that they should be racist. This is illegal, wrong, and must be stopped,” she added.