Newly hired teachers in New York City schools attended orientation sessions ahead of the start of the upcoming school year, where they were given a book containing an essay entitled “Dear White Teacher.”
The New York Post learned about the essay and reported that it differs from the city’s Department of Education’s controversial teacher training program:
Unlike the Department of Education’s controversial “implicit bias” training — which, among other lessons, tells teachers that “racial equity” requires favoring black students over whites — the essay’s message is that white instructors should stop being afraid to discipline black students.
Essay author Chrysanthius Lathan blasts white teachers who she says routinely send minority students to “teachers of color” for discipline — because they’re scared of being called racist.
“My strength in the classroom does not come from my racial identity, and neither does yours,” Lathan, a former teacher in Portland, Oregon, who now works as an educational consultant, wrote in her essay.
“It comes from the way we treat — and what we expect from — kids and families. It is time for you to take back the power in your classroom,” Lathan wrote.
“Lathan also gives blunt advice to the white teachers she says ‘live in fear of their good faith actions being labeled as racist,’” the Post reported.
“You need to find that bone in your body that tends to recoil when it comes time to deal with people of color — and purposely straighten it back out,” she wrote.
“By contrast, the $23 million, ‘implicit bias’ training mandated by schools Chancellor Richard Carranza included consultant Darnisa Amante’s justification that a middle-class black student would ‘have less access and less opportunities’ over the course of a lifetime than a poor white classmate, according to sources who heard her say it,” the Post reported.
“Dear White Teacher” is one of more than 50 essays in the book distributed at the orientation. The New Teacher Book is a 324-page manual published by Rethinking Schools, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit, according to the Post.
Other essays in the book are controversial, the Post reported, including ones that attack charter schools as a “fundamental threat to the hope of sustaining a multicultural democracy” — and others that encourage new teachers to join unions and activist groups.
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