More than half the teachers have left and 50 families have fled. Left standing is a K-8 principal of Mexican descent who has, as teachers and families claim, created a hostile environment for white people.
In lily white Portland, Oregon.
But there’s more. This looks like a future trend in Portland Public Schools because, as Jennifer Anderson writes in the Portland Tribune (here), more than 93 other Portland Public Schools teachers and staff have been sent to reeducation camp to learn about the evils of whiteness at a cost of thousands of dollars. This, as the district goes hat in hand to voters for money for bonds and art instruction.
The reeducation program is called “Courageous Conversations” and has as its basic idea that everything taught must somehow be culturally relevant to everyone except white people. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant, “kids of whiteness.” .
“We all agree in teaching Courageous Conversations,” says one teacher. “The issue is, it’s gone past the point of comfort. Even the kids of whiteness `in our building feel they aren’t part of the building anymore.” [emph added]
It’s no wonder. This is the same woman who in so many words said discussion of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in class was somehow racially insensitive,
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez said, according to the Tribune. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”
But that was just the beginning. More than half the staff has left the school since Gutierrez took over. “White flight” from the heavily minority school has begun, so much so that if there’s any more attrition it could affect funding.
Reporter Anderson spoke with 20 current and former teachers at Harvey Scott K-8 who fear retaliation for coming out about how dysfunctional the school has become since Principal Verenice Gutierrez took over in 2010.
Things have gotten so bad they tell Anderson that they’ve had mediators come to meetings, but not to help with getting along, to help white people to get with the program:
Mediators have come to Scott multiple times to lead staff meetings, all paid for by the district. Among them is equity coach Kim Feicke, whose biography cites her expertise in working with “white educators to understand the impact of white culture on teaching, learning and school culture in order to effectively shift current practices.” [emph added]
It sounds like Principal Gutierrez thinks the predominant white culture is bad for kids learning math and science, that is to the extent they do in the school –Harvey Scott is in the bottom 15% of similar PPS schools.
“Our whiteness is constantly thrown in our face. We’re taught we’re incapable of teaching students of color.”
The teachers tell the Tribune they’ve gotten no help from their union about the obvious
reverse discrimination. Check out this passage:
Gutierrez frequently talks about her desire for Scott to become a Spanish immersion school, to overcome the problems with a “monolinguist” society.
This month, she told staff about how she wants to improve communication with families: “I say to HR, I only want to interview bilingual (teachers) and they don’t get it. That’s what Scott needs.”
But some of the bilingual teachers at Scott, who happen to be white, say they feel alienated because of the color of their skin.
Gutierrez told her staff that after one white bilingual teacher left, “I made sure we got a native speaker (as her replacement) … so there’s no accent. [emph added]
Please check out the video by the folks who have brought you the “Courageous Conversations” and take note of the tautology by the first couple of speaker about black and brown achievement.
Whites outperform black and brown students, therefore schools should gear studies toward those students while suggesting some fundamental unfairness of white achievement
There’s more. Read it here.