A high school in Virginia high school requested curriculum from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that is designed to address and ease racial tensions, by calling attention to students’ racial differences and segregating them according to those differences. Parents will be prohibited from attending.
According to a parent, Fairfax High School will be hosting the DOJ’s School-Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together (SPIRIT) program on May 16 and 17. The program is operated by the DOJ’s Community Relations Service (CRS), which is used by state and local officials to “help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict, violence and civil disorder.”
The first day of the program reportedly places students in “separate homogeneous breakout groups” where they “have uncomfortable conversations about tensions in the school,” according to the Daily Caller.
Students in the program at an Anchorage, Alaska school were reportedly divided into five groups in order to identify the school’s strengths and areas on concerns, including alleged “widespread use” of ethnic and racial slurs. According to the DOJ website, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska reportedly attended the program to “observe and assist.”
Students meet in “heterogeneous” breakout groups and brainstorm solutions to issues in the school and includes the “SPIRIT Student Advisory Team,” which is required to meet with the principal of the school “at least on a monthly basis.”
The parent told the Daily Caller that she had to remain anonymous for fear of retribution against her child and was concerned that the Student Advisory Team would target students who do not “subscribe to the ideology of the student board.” According to the parent, the parents were not notified in writing about the programming.
When the parent insisted that the school allow her to attend the events, Acting Principal Maureen Keck said in an email that the program information was shared with students on Friday, May 6, is optional and that the program is “student centered” and not open to parents.
Keck referred the parent to the DOJ’s website, which included six examples of School-SPIRIT programs rolled out nationwide, several which claim that programming was conducted by DOJ CRS employees and discuss issues of alleged racism in public schools.
According to the DOJ, CRS, which was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is dedicated to “preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders,” and has regional and field offices placed across the US.