A mother has spoken out after she says her biracial son failed his Critical Race Theory class for refusing to make a confession. The boy’s mother also alleges that the school threatened to keep the high school senior from graduating, all because he wouldn’t make an admission as part of the course requirement.
Gabrielle Clark was left stunned when her biracial son, William, was threatened with not being able to graduate after the high school senior failed a Critical Race Theory class at his school. William was allegedly given the failing grade because he refused to complete a course requirement that demanded the high school senior confess his “white dominance,” according to his mother, The Blaze reported.
According to Clark’s claims, William was forced to take a mandatory “Sociology of Change” course at Democracy Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. After his school gave him a failing grade in the Critical Race Theory course, William and his mother filed a lawsuit against the school, protesting the curriculum and seeking damages after the school allegedly threatened to keep William from graduating.
“In the class, William, along with all the students, was asked to publicly reveal his race, gender, religious, and sexual identities, and then attach derogatory labels to those identities,” a crowdfunded campaign posted on the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) website explains. “Students were then asked to ‘undo and unlearn’ their ‘beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that stem from oppression.'”
Although William can “pass for white,” according to the Daily Mail, the biracial high school senior did not like the labels put on him or the confession about his “white dominance” that the class allegedly required him to make in order to pass. When he objected to the mandatory class exercises, William was punished with a failing grade.
Knowing William’s background helps to explain why he likely didn’t see himself as “privileged” or an “oppressor.” The eighteen-year-old, who lives with his black mother and his siblings in transitional housing, works at a local fast-food restaurant to support his family since his father died when he was young and his mother is disabled.
“William was understandably reluctant to label himself as ‘privileged’ or an ‘oppressor,'” the crowdfunded campaign goes on to explain, adding that “while William is the only student in the class who appears to be white — he has light skin and green eyes — he is, in fact, mixed race.”
According to the lawsuit, the school violated William’s First Amendment rights by “repeatedly compelling his speech involving intimate matters of race, gender, sexuality, and religion” and created a “psychologically abusive” and a “hostile educational environment.”
The Clarks are seeking “monetary damages, including compensatory and punitive damages, for the damage done to William Clark’s future academic and professional prospects and for the Defendants’ deliberate and protracted harassment, emotional abuse, and violation of Plaintiffs’ Constitutional Rights.” In addition, the Clarks “also want the court to prevent the school from denying William a high school diploma and accommodate him with ‘an alternative non-discriminatory, non-confessional class,'” Daily Mail reported.
Although Democracy Prep told the news outlet that it could not comment on pending lawsuits, the school did issue a statement. “Our curriculum teaches students about American democracy and movements for social change throughout our history,” the statement said before adding, “We strongly disagree with how the curriculum has been characterized in this filing.”
The Clarks’ lawsuit is being described as a “landmark case” against the already controversial “Critical Race Theory (CRT) curriculum, which forces students to categorize and label their racial, religious, and sexual identities with derogatory labels and asks students to affirm beliefs contrary to their personal conscience.'” Unsurprisingly, the Clarks and their lawsuit have garnered support.
“This is a very important case if you care about pushing back against CRT and standing up for free thought and free expression,” columnist Bari Weiss tweeted, calling for support for the family. In another tweet, she explained, “William Clark is not privileged by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the opposite. But that’s now how his school, a public charter in Las Vegas, sees it.”
Indeed, a biracial teenager, working to support his disabled mother and two siblings while living in transitional housing after losing his father at a young age, hardly fits the definition of “privileged,” and his light skin doesn’t change those facts. If the school’s intention is to make a positive impact on students, perhaps they’d be better off highlighting William’s achievements, determination, work ethic, responsibilities, and perseverance in the face of incredible obstacles and life struggles.
Instead, many feel “CRT is creating a toxic learning environment.” One Twitter user summed it up best by asking a few important questions that deserve consideration: “As a practical matter, we should ask ourselves how this application of CRT in this way does anything to confront racism or bigotry? Who benefits from this sort of destructive teaching? Who is helped by this foolishness?” I don’t have an answer, do you?