Katy Drollinger l October 4, 2022
As some Texas school districts are moving away from teaching radical gender ideologies and divisive racial policies, required professional development training for teachers at Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) is focusing on gender, race, and class.
Every year, FWISD requires 30 hours of professional learning classes for teachers using the FLEX program, which offers “teacher-selected” options and mandatory courses labeled “district priorities.” If teachers do not complete their FLEX program hours within the required timeframe, they will lose money from their next paycheck.
Earlier this week, a FWISD teacher leaked screenshots to grassroots activist Carlos Turcios showing details of several FLEX program courses, highlighting the district’s continued use of critical race theory (CRT) materials.
A course for pre-kindergarten teachers entitled “Anti-Bias Education” promised to educate early elementary school teachers in recognizing the biases of their students, who typically range from ages 4 to 5.
This practical, book study is your guide to building a strong anti-bias classroom; including self-reflection and identifying student bias. This course offers information on culture and language, racial identity, family structures, gender identity, economic class, different abilities, holidays, and more.
Another professional learning course entitled “A Pathway to Belonging Part IV” marked the end of a series promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), a framework often used to implement social justice and CRT.
“This 3-hour professional development is the final course of a four course series designed to provide educators with a working definition of belonging in the classroom and campus community. During this course, educators will reflect on the knowledge they have garnered in the requisite Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion coursework and present strategies to make their learning actionable.”
FWISD parents have previously sounded the alarm over radical ideologies in the district, including training for English as a Second Language teachers that featured children’s books with scenes of cross-dressing, “coming out,” and illegal immigration.
The district also faced criticism for its robust Equity and Excellence department, which exists to “ensure equity in all practices and at all organizational levels in FWISD by providing professional development to educate others on the impact of institutionalized racism and equity, specifically racial equity, on student achievement.”
Earlier this year, Turcios organized a march protesting the “indoctrination” of FWISD students and calling for the district to dismantle the Equity and Excellence department. Following the leak of the professional development materials, Turcios further criticized the school district for prioritizing politics over education and called for Texas lawmakers to take action against schools that use CRT-based coursework.
“The exposed information that the whistleblower gave to us shows just how far woke politics has been embedded in FWISD,” said Turcios. “The ISD, frankly, is just a system that creates social justice teachers. The Texas Legislature should take bold moves to punish ISDs with social justice as a framework for training. Our work in FWISD will continue until the indoctrination of students is defeated and removed.”