By Michael Bielawski
The Essex-Westford School District’s equity policy considers the nation’s economic status a result of genocide, slavery, white privilege, ongoing systematic oppressions and more.
“This nation would not have evolved as it has without the genocide of the indigenous people, nor would the economic infrastructure exist as it does without the enslavement of native African people and their descendants,” the policy states. “In an effort to recognize and undo the harm of centuries of systemic inequities and oppression, we begin with this lens and framework.”
It continues that these victimized populations are still marginalized in today’s oppressive society.
It states, “EWSD recognizes the impact of systemic oppression of groups of people impacted by histories and current experiences of marginalization in addition to race including gender, abilities, and other identities. Given that identities are intersectional–meaning people have race, gender, abilities and other aspects of self, at the same time–this policy was developed to create equity in EWSD.”
Redistribution of resources
The policy also has a definition for the term equity. It is, “Distributing resources, power and decision making to marginalized groups or individuals in order to redress marginalization.”
In another part it states, “Equity recognizes that economic, social, political, and educational historical and current practices have created inequities that require explicit, intentional intervention.”
The policy alleges that resources are already directed towards preferred groups over oppressed ones. It defines systematic inequities as “Outcomes that occur when the fabric of organizations, institutions, governments or social networks contains an embedded bias which provides advantages for some members and marginalizes or produces disadvantages for other members.”
There is also a definition of “privileged positions” stating that whole groups of people can be assumed to only have what they have because of special privileges due to their skin color or other identities.
It states, “Unearned social power afforded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, etc.). Privilege is usually invisible to those who have it because they are taught not to see it, but nevertheless it puts them at an advantage over those who do not have it.
Other cultures still oppressed?
In the definition for “Non-Dominant culture” it implies that still currently suppressed groups are experiencing oppression and the oppressors may not even realize it.
“These attributes are actively or unconsciously oppressed by the dominant culture. This results in a lack of representation in education, artistic expression, political process, decision making communication, and business.”
On radar of Parents Defending Education
The policy can be found at the Parent’s Defending Education incident report section. The national organization has been in Vermont and elsewhere tracking when schools adopt policies that violate the Constitutional rights of parents via politicized curricula, equity policies, and more.
Their introduction reads, “We believe our children’s education should be based on scholarship and facts, and should nurture their development into the happy, resilient, free-thinking, educated citizens every democracy needs. Our classrooms should include rigorous instruction in history, civics, literature, math, the sciences, and the ideas and values that enrich our country.”
They also detail how political activist organizations are behind this effort to indoctrinate schools.
“Schools are adopting this illiberal mission at the behest of a narrow group of activists, union leaders and high-priced consultants— without the consent of the students, parents, and communities whose interests the schools are supposed to serve. Those who dissent risk being called ugly names and shamed into silence.”
The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle
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