Penn High School reportedly gave teachers a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lesson on “Racism and Anti-Racism” in the week of March 1, 2021. The lesson included a previously reported “Pyramid of White Supremacy” that shows “costumes” and “MAGA” eventually lead to “Genocide.” A concerned resident filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and received the “Professional Development” presentation that the school gave to teachers.
The goal of the SEL lesson appears to be for teachers to implement the idea of “Anti-Racism” and ideologies inspired by Critical Race Theory into their classrooms. A learning objective of the presentation is that “students will learn more about valuing and celebrating diversity by exploring racism and anti-racism.” The presentation included multiple quotes from Ibram X. Kendi who has written books like How to Be an Antiracist and Antiracist Baby. He also created the “Anti-Racist Reading List” for the Chicago Public Library that includes the books White Fragility and Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. The presentation includes the following quote from Kendi:
Pain is usually essential to healing. When it comes to healing America of racism, we want to heal America without pain, but without pain, there is no progress.
The presentation paraphrased White Fragility author Robin DiAngelo in claiming “racism is a system rather than just a slur; it is prejudice plus power.” The next slide is labeled “Pyramid of White Supremacy” that labels what appears to be perceived steps of racism leading up to “Genocide.” The bottom of the pyramid starts with topics like “remaining apolitical” and builds up to “All Lives Matter” and then to wearing “costumes” of “stereotypes.” Near the top in the “Calls for Violence” section is the phrase “MAGA” and also “ICE detention.” Just a few topics up is the top of the pyramid with the label “Genocide.”
The presentation asks teachers “What can we do to make a difference?” The question is then answered with “Anti-Racism.” Kendi is then paraphrased in saying that anti-racism is “taking a stand against all forms of bigotry by seeing humanity in all racial groups.” The presentation also quotes Kendi in accusing people who don’t agree with the idea of racial equity as racist:
But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle … One either allows racial inequities to preserve, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in between safe space of ‘not racist.’ The claim of ‘not racist’ neutrality is a mask for racism.”
The presentation then discussed a resolution that the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation passed in 2020 “to bring about systematic and structural change to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equality.” The resolution states that the school district “shall implement all reforms necessary to eradicate racism and racial injustice” within its jurisdiction.