Connecticut school district makes teachers think of race while brushing teeth, shower

While some teachers put up with it for a long time, it looks like forcing teachers to think about racism as a morning ritual got unbearable for some


                            Connecticut school district makes teachers think of race while brushing teeth, shower
(Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

A Connecticut school district has taken matters about race a little too far after administrators reportedly required teachers to keep track of their daily activities, even ordinary tasks like brushing their teeth, and analyze them in the context of race. 

The news was first reported by Fox News on Tuesday, August 31, and revealed that during the previous academic year, the activity was linked to “equity training” at Manchester Public Schools. While some teachers put up with it for a long time, it looks like it was getting unbearable to work with. A former teacher, Jennifer Tafuto, recently resigned over what she said was the district’s obsession with race.

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She provided the outlet with the training materials for the exercise titled "Daily Racial Reflection Timeline," which the publication summarily confirmed with the school district.

What was the exercise?

"First, list as many actions as possible of your regular daily routine starting with immediately after you wake up until you return to bed at the end of your day," said the instructions. "Second, after completing your timeline, reflect on how race plays a role in what you have listed; discussing this with others can help.”

The instruction manual had also listed four examples of these activities such as "wake up and get coffee," "brush teeth and take a shower," and "[g]et dressed, eat breakfast." It’s not clear how those activities might be affected by race so much as they would likely be more affected by socioeconomic status.

In addition, the instructions gave examples of how to racially reflect for Whites and non-Whites. "They suggested a non-White person might say the following about practicing yoga and meditating in the morning," the publication reported, adding the quote from the materials, "This is really important to center myself and get ready for an environment that is racially hurtful while being oblivious to how racially hurtful they are. This morning ritual gives me strength and when I skip it, my days are more challenging."

Going through the instructions, the publication points out that it seems to imply that the environment any non-White person exists in is inherently racist without providing any context or room for disagreement. For taking a shower and brushing their teeth, a non-White person might say, according to the instructions, "Doing this timeline has awakened me to how much worry I carry of being a non-White racial stereotype. While doing this timeline, I’ve come to realize how my grooming is so much about not just being clean and healthy, it is more about showing an EXTRA CLEAN and WELL GROOMED non-White racial example. It’s also about preventing harmful perceptions not just of myself, but also of other non-Whites like me."

According to the instructions, a White person, by comparison, could be concerned about cultural appropriation of “Indian culture” while practicing yoga. In addition, Whites are given this example for when they shower and brush their teeth, according to the instructions, "So many non-Whites all around the world, even in Flint, Michigan or on some Native reservation don’t have access to clean safe drinking water, and I just wasted gallons of it in an hour long shower. How did the world get so F-D up!"

In an interview with Fox, longtime critical race theory opponent James Lindsey said, "A ‘critical consciousness’ is hardly distinguishable from ideologically induced paranoia, and this exercise looks perfectly tailored to groom teachers into that."

"The purpose of this exercise... is to make everything in the teachers’ lives be about awakening a (critical) racial consciousness," he added. "The objective would be to program the teachers to turn around and teach their students to think this way too. This should get people fired."

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