The attorneys representing high-school senior William Clark and his mother, Gabrielle, have filed for an emergency injunction against the Las Vegas-area public charter school that is indoctrinating students with racist instruction. The Democracy Prep AC public school teaches its high-school seniors that the characteristics of a person such as race, gender, sexuality and religious beliefs determine if the person is “privileged” and “oppressive” irrespective of the individual’s conduct and beliefs. William and Gabrielle Clark objected to this instruction and repeatedly asked that William be able to take an alternative class. Instead, the school gave him a failing grade in violation of official school policy, thus ending any realistic chance William has to earn a scholarship to a top university. He also was suspended from school and faces an ongoing threat of not being able to graduate from high school.
The injunction request filed last week asks a judge to expunge the failing grade from William’s academic record, and for other relief, including bringing an end to the racist instruction that is being forced on students.
Democracy Prep AC has adopted a mandatory “civics” class inspired by a political activist and advocate of critical race theory. The “Sociology of Change” class is premised on the notion of “intersectionality” which asserts that “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, [are] regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent system of discrimination or disadvantage.” The class teacher describes her students as “social justice warriors.”
The Sociology of Change class instructs students that it is impossible for a person of color to be racist. Further, it is impossible for someone with oppressive characteristics, such as being white and male, to deny being privileged and oppressive. Such an objection is deemed to be “privilege expressed as denial.”
William Clark was understandably reluctant to divulge inherent characteristics about his race, gender, sexuality and religion as he knew that the teacher would in turn label him as “privileged” and “oppressive.” But nothing about William’s upbringing suggests that he enjoys privilege or has oppressed other people. Indeed, William lives with his mother and siblings in transitional housing and works some 35 hours per week at a local Taco Bell to help support the family as his father died when he was young and his mother is disabled.
William is the only student in the class who appears to be white. He has white skin and green eyes. In fact, however, William is of a mixed-race background. William’s deceased father was white and his mother is black.
The legal filing makes a telling and gripping account of the impact that critical race theory/intersectionality has had on William’s understanding of his late father. From the filing:
William’s deceased father was white, and he died when he was too young to know him. [The teacher’s] presentation material purports to supply substantial information as to what sort of man he was, however, and what sort of relationship he had with William’s black mother. “Interpersonal racism is what white people do to people of color close up” one “Sociology of Change” curriculum slide declares, with examples including “beatings and harassments.” Defendants do admit that not all white people may be guilty of individually performing such acts, but because white people belong to a “dominant group,” invidious distinctions are justified: “Some people in the dominant group are not consciously oppressive…Does this make it OK? No!
William has excelled at this public charter school since enrolling in the sixth grade. He aspires to a career in musicology and has been working toward earning a full scholarship at a top university such as NYU or the University of California, Berkeley. However, the actions of the school administration in refusing an accommodation so he could take an alternative class that is not based on racism, and instead giving him a failing grade, jeopardizes all of William’s hard work. If they follow through on their threat to deny him graduation, his college plans could be ended entirely.
In addition to expunging the failing grade, the injunction requests an order that the school accommodate William’s request to enroll in another class. Further, they seek an order declaring that it is unconstitutional compelled speech for the school to require that students divulge sexual, gender, racial and religious identities only to have those identities normatively and pejoratively labeled and that the class creates a hostile environment in violation of Title VI, Title VII and Title IX of federal law. They seek a temporary restraining order as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent any school official from further participation in this instruction.
The school has until January 29th to file their responses to the request for an injunction.