Social Justice Standards Launched by SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance

Social Justice Standards - Teaching Tolerance - SPLCThis is not a joke. It is a new set of standards launched by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s education offshoot called Teaching Tolerance.

This roll-out of Social Justice Standards heralds an era when parents everywhere need to be vigilant about what materials are being presented to their children in the classroom.

The social justice standards are broken into four categories: Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action. The curriculum spans from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Teaching Tolerance says these “Standards recognize that, in today’s diverse classrooms, students need knowledge and skills related to both prejudice reduction and collective action.”

Translation: Forget reading, writing, science, and math. Our kids will be trained as social justice warriors in the “collective action” army.

While the line-item standards themselves might not seem wholly unreasonable, the standards combined with the biased materials are without question a template for social engineering.

Making what amounts to indoctrination look benign is not a bug, it’s a feature.

The Social Justice Standards

I will not be linking to these social justice standards. I refuse to send traffic there. Instead, I have included below what the Teaching Tolerance website touts as their set of standards.  A copy of the standards can be viewed here.

Note the repetitive and action-based language used in the social justice standards of the “students will.”  Our children will be made to care.

Identity Anchor Standards 

  1. Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society.
  2. Students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that affirm and accurately describe their membership in multiple identity groups.
  3. Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals.
  4. Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people.
  5. Students will recognize traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures and understand how they negotiate their own identity in multiple spaces.

Read the Unpacking Identity Document.

Diversity Anchor Standards

  1. Students will express comfort with people who are both similar to and different from them and engage respectfully with all people.
  2. Students will develop language and knowledge to accurately and respectfully describe how people (including themselves) are both similar to and different from each other and others in their identity groups.
  3. Students will respectfully express curiosity about the history and lived experiences of others and will exchange ideas and beliefs in an open-minded way.
    Students will respond to diversity by building empathy, respect, understanding and connection.
  4. Students will examine diversity in social, cultural, political and historical contexts rather than in ways that are superficial or oversimplified.

Read the Unpacking Diversity document.

Justice Anchor Standards

  1. Students will recognize stereotypes and relate to people as individuals rather than representatives of groups.
  2. Students will recognize unfairness on the individual level (e.g., biased speech) and injustice at the institutional or systemic level (e.g., discrimination).
  3. Students will analyze the harmful impact of bias and injustice on the world, historically and today.
  4. Students will recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup and institutional levels and consider how they have been affected by those dynamics.
  5. Students will identify figures, groups, events and a variety of strategies and philosophies relevant to the history of social justice around the world.

Read the Unpacking Social Justice document.

Action Anchor Standards

  1. Students will express empathy when people are excluded or mistreated because of their identities and concern when they themselves experience bias.
  2. Students will recognize their own responsibility to stand up to exclusion, prejudice and injustice.
  3. Students will speak up with courage and respect when they or someone else has been hurt or wronged by bias.
  4. Students will make principled decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in their everyday lives and will do so despite negative peer or group pressure.
  5. Students will plan and carry out collective action against bias and injustice in the world and will evaluate what strategies are most effective.

Read the Unpacking Action document.

Let’s be clear here – these standards and lessons are totally subjective in nature. From the examples given and lesson plans provided on the Teaching Tolerance site, it’s not a question of if these lessons are biased, but how badly biased they are.

How badly biased one might ask? Under their ‘action standards’, the radical, violent, socialist Alinskyite, Cesar Chavez,  is held up as a role model.

Here’s the direct quote Teaching Tolerance uses:

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.” – Cesar Chavez

Social Justice Standards Based On the Work of  Socialist

According to the Teaching Tolerance website, these standards are based on, “Louise Derman-Sparks’ four goals for anti-bias education in early childhood.”

Sparks is a known socialist and has supported domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers.

Sparks worked closely with the late Dorothy Ray Healey, who was a major player in the California Communist Party USA. Healey went on to join the New American Movement and Democratic Socialists of America.

Sparks was a member of the “Socialist Community School” that was started in 1979 and later taken over by the Democratic Socialists of America.

In 2008, Ayers came under media attacks for his associations with then-candidate, Barack Obama. In response, college professors around the country signed a statement of support for Ayers. Sparks, who was of the Faculty Emeritus at Pacific Oaks College, signed that statement.

This is the woman Teaching Tolerance is modeling their work after. Let that sink in.

Social Justice Standards from A “Demagogic Bully”

Some might be reading this article and thinking, ‘Gee, she’s going overboard a bit’.

No. I’m not. Anyone who has really read up on and follow the Southern Poverty Law Center knows what an incredibly biased organization they are.

Case in point, Mark Pulliam of City Journal.  Pulliam’s July article on Southern Poverty Law Center titled, A Demagogic Bully, should be required reading.  His article lays out clearly what this organization does, how they do it and the incredible hypocrisy behind it.

Pulliam has a section on Teaching Tolerance:

In an irony for an organization dedicated to fighting hate and extremism, the SPLC has long promoted Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist of the 1970s and founder of the radical Weather Underground, as an “education activist” and exemplar of “tolerance.” The SPLC’s education project, “Teaching Tolerance,” and its companion website,, market Ayers’s books and describe him as “a highly respected figure in the field of multicultural education.” Failing to mention that Ayers dedicated the Weather Underground’s 1974 revolutionary manifesto, Prairie Fire, to Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, the SPLC lauds Ayers for his “rich vision of teaching that interweaves passion, responsibility and self-reflection.”

Conversely, the SPLC has been quick to condemn honorable men and women without justification. For example, in 2014, the SPLC listed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, a retired pediatric brain surgeon now serving as HUD secretary, as an “extremist” due to his opposition to same-sex marriage. Following a public furor over the designation, he SPLC had to remove the mild-mannered Carson from the list and publicly apologize. Similarly, the SPLC has defamed Murray” who has two Asian children” as a “white nationalist.” Murray addressed the genetic components of human intelligence” a taboo to the Left” in his 1994 best-seller, The Bell Curve, coauthored with Richard Herrnstein. A single deviation from liberal orthodoxy is sufficient to negate a distinguished record of scholarship.

That’s just one section. Pulliam also details how Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate map” inspired Floyd Lee Corkins, who attempted a mass shooting at the Family Research Council’s headquarters.

To understand how deeply partisan and troubling this organization and it’s ‘education arm’ are, go read the rest of Pulliam’s article.

Some More Teaching Tolerance Background

Several years ago, I wrote in-depth about Teaching Tolerance aligning their ‘anti-bias framework’ materials to the Common Core State Standards.

In my look at this group, it was blatant that this framework and supporting materials have a singular goal: The creation of social justice activists; starting in pre-k with kids as young as 4 and 5 years old.

Children in every state are being given arguably skewed lessons on racial justice, social justice, feminism, LGBT, bullying, immigration and how to be an activist based on these materials beginning in Kindergarten.

Teaching Tolerance materials have already made their way into classrooms in my home state of North Carolina.

The Department of Public Instruction in North Carolina cites Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance as an approved resource for their “Bullies and Victims” curriculum.

Teaching Tolerance’ is apparently being already used in Durham Public Schools.  More here on that.

Read my entire series here:

Teachers are using Teaching Tolerance materials in your child’s classroom right now – and are doing so quite enthusiastically:

Do you and your child a favor — Ask the hard questions of your local school, your kid’s teachers, education officials, board members, legislators, and your state superintendent.

Keep asking and don’t accept a non-answer, because your child receiving an actual education depends on it.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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