Indoctrination in Your State & District

American Literature class with 5 out of 9 books race related, and not of literary merit. Also, SEL screening started last year and continued this year for 9th grade.

Wilton School District, Connecticut

Submitted: 2021-11-03


1. 10 th grade American Literature class book list:

● House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
● The Crucible - Arthur Miller
● Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
● Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
● Black Boy - Richard Wright
● Passing - Nella Larsen
● American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang
● Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
● The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan

More than half of the books on the list are race related. I asked teacher to remove "Black Boy", "Passing", and "Between the World and Me" from the book list. All three of these books focus on the Black race with a viewpoint that America is systemically racist and Blacks are oppressed by the White man. I wrote the principal a letter and I spoke with him and the head of English dept. I was able to remove "Passing" and "Between the World and Me" from my daughter's 10 th grade reading list, but other English teachers in her school continue to require their students to read books these and similar books. The principal told me their school "do not teach CRT". Here is the letter I sent:
Dear Principal ___________,

I am writing to you today about my concerns regarding certain books, which I find objectionable for high school students, for the reasons described below.
My daughter, ________ is in Ms. ____________ 10th grade American Literature class. Although it has been only 3 weeks, ______ has told me she loves her class. I met Ms. _______ on a zoom conference call to discuss ________classes and schedule. I inquired about the list of books that they will be reading and since we bought several books for summer reading, I wanted to see if any of the books were the same. Fahrenheit 451 was one of the books on the list that we had purchased. However, I was deeply troubled by some of books included on the reading list.
Half of the books listed related to race in America, and 3 of the books related to Black race in America. One especially troubling book, titled “Between the World and Me”, by Ta-Nehisi Coates describes his experiences with white people, whom he references as “they”. He talks about police brutality and generalizes it to all police officers. No one can dispute that police brutality exists but to demonize all police officers for the problems brought about by the few, would be like thinking all Muslim Americans are terrorists. This book is written by a man who hates America and finds America to be systemically racist. Recommending this book to children is irresponsible and dangerous. It promotes racism against white people and is extremely divisive. As a brown skinned immigrant to America with a multiracial family, I find this list with books focused on race insulting and offensive. Insulting because it reduces individuals to the basic, immutable characteristic of our skin color.
I would like this list to be revised to remove these racially focused books. I find this is a deceptive way to insert Critical Race Theory into WHS curriculum.

2. SEL: screening was started for 9th grade students February 2021. The letter notifying parents of SEL screening was sent 1/28/21 with plan to start SEL screening first week of February 2021, barely a weeks notice. I was able to opt out last year with my insisting that SEL was not needed and my letter to Wilton High School principal asking him to focus on the basics of fundamentals of education and to teach facts in history. The screening notification was again sent October 13, 2021 at 2:28 pm with deadline to opt-out on October 14, 20221, barely 24 hours notice. I again opted out. I emailed assistant principal and recommended they extend time for parents to review SEL screening so they have ample time to decide on opting out. The assistant principal stated she would look at accommodating opt-out letters going forward. Here is the letter I sent after receiving the first SEL notification.

Dear Principal ________

I am a mother of a 9 th grader at Wilton High School. I received your email on 1/28/2021 regarding your plans to screen 9th graders on the first week of February 2021 in social-emotional learning (SEL). The letter gives parents an opt-out option at the very end of the letter. I have several concerns regarding the timing and content of the screening.

First of all, I do not believe I was given enough notice about your plan for SEL to make an informed decision for opting out since there is barely a week between 1/28/2021 and first week in February 2021.

Secondly, as the guardian of my child, I should have prior knowledge of all the questions that are to be asked, not just a sampling of two questions from the 30 questions.

Third, your letter does not clearly inform me why this "universal" screening is necessary. All children already have access to school counselors, and children who need special accommodations have a 504 and IEP available.

Lastly, at a time, when education is severely lacking with virtual learning, teachers hesitant to return to full in-person teaching, complaints of funding and teacher shortage in some areas, I would like the public school system to focus on improving the education of all children in the basics of the proverbial reading, writing, and arithmetic. After this, teach facts and instill knowledge. Facts in history, science, geography, the arts, etc. I hope you take my suggestion seriously.