A Washington social studies teacher blasted a school district for their "religion of equity" and sent Fox News Digital an email that shows the school district's hiring practices, which include evaluating a candidate's "equity lens."
Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati of Auburn School District 408 in Auburn, Washington (ASD) sent an email showing that the school district will implement intentional hiring practices to recruit more teachers of color as part of a "new Strategic Plan." The recruitment component is "about one of 14 priorities of our strategic plan," ASD Director of Communications Vicki Alonzo told Fox News Digital.
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Part of the Strategic Plan’s priorities is to recruit and retain a workforce that represents the school district’s demographic makeup. It goes on to say that over 70% of the students are students of color while 23% of the staff are staff of color.
Research shows that students perform better if they have a teacher of their own ethnicity and race, according to the superintendent.
"Increasing staff of color benefits all students, not just students of color, by providing different thoughts and perspectives on any subject," Dr. Spicciati said.
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Therefore, Dr. Spicciati wants to "implement intentional hiring practice changes" to work toward their priority of hiring more teachers of color, which include updating interview questions that evaluate a candidate’s equity lens and include "at least one person of color on every interview team."
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Furthermore, the school district will develop "anti-bias training to support hiring teams." A Social Studies teacher who works for ASD told Fox News Digital that the anti-bias training is mandatory.
The teacher, a mother of a 6th grader and 4th grader, plans to speak up at a future school board meeting against the school district's "religion of equity," among other things, claiming that it violates the establishment clause and free exercise clause of the Constitution.
The teacher will also speak out against a teacher who works for ASD and complained that many schools’ "guidelines and laws" haven’t helped them keep students' information secret from "Christo-fascist" parents.
"Equity has become the dominant religious belief in education. Equal outcomes is the ultimate goal of schools despite students’ effort or behavior. Anything that does not produce equal outcomes is evidence of white supremacy and the patriarchy," the teacher said.
"Teachers are to deconstruct everything, except the deconstructionists themselves who are off limits and are above questioning. Many administrators desire sameness rather than excellence and hire activist teachers (that call parents Christo-fascists and Christo-nationalist) based on their equity beliefs. This is not why I got into education."
Per ASD’s policy 0050 on "Racial Equity," it "confronts institutional racism and inequities" within the district and its systems that perpetuate disparities in "opportunity and achievement gaps, disproportionality in disciplinary practice, and a lack of support for reaching the full potential exists for our students of color."
Fox News Digital reached out to ASD for a comment on how they evaluate a candidate's "equity lens."
"We are updating our interview questions to align with our new Strategic Plan. Equity and excellence are the foundations of our mission statement," Alonzo told Fox News Digital.
Alonzo added that "one of our new questions will help us learn about a candidate’s experience and understanding about supporting students from a variety of backgrounds."
ASD sent an additional statement:
"First, we are intentionally changing our hiring practices to attract more candidates of color, have more diverse interview teams and be intentional about what questions we are asking. We don’t view this as discrimination, but as making our Human Resources and hiring system better. Nowhere in the message, it is said we will not be following anti-discrimination laws."
"Regarding the Strategic Plan. In the spring of 2022, we convened a committee that included parents, students, teachers, community members, administrators, principals, classified staff, and several others. This committee met for 14 hours over seven meetings to create the plan."
Diversity, equity, and inclusion mantra has been a common practice among school districts and academic institutions across the U.S.