A Portland teacher’s college hired a former principal who oversaw a school-wide “antiracist” bootcamp for kids.
On September 7, Portland State University’s College of Education announced the hiring of Cynthia Moffett, a former Beaverton School District principal, to its Curriculum and Instruction department.
Moffett oversaw a 21-day antiracist curriculum as part of a school-wide initiative for the first days of January 2022 as principal of Errol Hassell Elementary.
The curriculum required elementary students to describe their race and educated them on microaggressions and systemic racism.
Moffett resigned shortly after Fox News Digital reported on an internal email from staff referred to as “The BIPOC Educators at Errol Hassell,” which addressed rumors that the principal was under investigation. The staff – which did not include Moffett – sought confirmation from administrators that Moffett would not be terminated.
The email also stated that Errol Hassell employees were dissatisfied with Moffett. The email stated that “staff raised their voice and interrupted Principal Moffett during… meetings and spoke in a disrespectful and aggressive manner.”
Jeff Meyers of Save Oregon Schools, a parent at the school, blasted the university’s decision to hire Moffett.
“This PSU hire saddens and frustrates me. A simple web search for her name yields several articles highlighting her failures as an educational leader and the harm she has caused to those she is supposed to lead and serve.”
“This was a terrible choice,” he said.
“What are some of the invisible ways that racism shows up in our lives?” students were asked during the 21-day challenge. Teachers were also told that if a child asked them a question that made them uncomfortable, they should “write it down” so that a staff member could come in and answer it.
Students were instructed on the first day to “think of one or two words that describe the color of your skin” and “draw or paint a self-portrait.”
However, the curriculum stated that students must “ask… permission” and use “appropriate colors.”
“You may include another person in your picture, but make sure to ask their permission and use the appropriate colors to show the shade of their skin,” stated the antiracist curriculum.
Another day of the challenge was dedicated to “defining microaggressions” and “how to respond” when another child micro aggresses them. According to the curriculum, children should “talk to an adult about it.”
The curriculum defines microaggressions as “every day, subtle, intentional or unintentional interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups.” “These can be comments, interactions, body language, or other behaviors that make one person or group feel inferior to another.”
According to the curriculum, examples of microaggressions include criticizing foods from other cultures, “commenting on someone’s hair,” comparing skin tones, and pointing out “attire such as hijab, yamakas, hoodies, and more.” Probing into the students’ identities, the curriculum asked:
The curriculum also required the students to pledge to become social justice activists.
“We pledge to be changemakers in our community by [fill in the blank],” one of the prompts said.
“How can you use your voice to effect change? How do you become an activist? “It stated.
“Enough already! We can all work together to make our community a better place. Speak up and out with your voice. We can Heal Our World Together, but we must first get into good trouble,” according to the curriculum.
Students were also shown racist videos, such as “A Kid Asks About Systemic Racism.”
When Fox News Digital contacted the university, they stated, “The power of diversity of thought is valued at Portland State University, which embraces its core values of preparing future leaders. Dr. Moffett has 29 years of experience as a teacher and administrator, as well as her own first-generation college experience, which many PSU students share.”
Moffett previously denied teaching critical race theory at Errol Hassel, stating, “BSD staff was recently asked if we had implemented critical race theory (CRT) curriculum. The answer is no, we have not, there is no critical race theory curriculum, and there is no critical race theory training.”