A “Diversity Inventory” worksheet asking highly personal questions about religion and sexuality has been yanked after outraged parents posted images of the sheet online.
The “Diversity Inventory” worksheet asked students to give information about their age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and socioeconomic status for themselves, but also for their family or whomever they live with, their doctor, their elementary school peers, close friends, and teachers.
According to a parent of one of the students who did not wish to be named, the worksheet was given to 10th grade Honors English students by their teacher, Melissa Wilson, who proceeded to question the students using the worksheet topics.
While invasive, it’s worth noting that it’s illegal for employers to ask questions about race, sex or sexual orientation like the ones Wilson did of the students.
After asking the questions out loud, she then asked them to stand under posters around the room that mirrored answers one might give to the worksheet.
Wilson allegedly gave the class an example, telling them that she was privileged because she was white and shared with them that she was bisexual.
“My child nor any other child is “inventory” as the worksheet is labeled,” said Heritage High parent Dina Bartus.
Several parents confirmed to me that despite protests of discomfort from students, Wilson told the students they had to complete the worksheet, which she collected. It is unclear if they have been destroyed or if Wilson has retained them.
Lisa Luten, Communications Director for Wake County Public Schools indicated in a statement that this was not a “district-provided resource” and that the teacher has been instructed to discontinue the lesson “immediately.”
Here’s the full statement sent to me this afternoon:
This week, a teacher conducted a classroom activity that included a worksheet titled Diversity Inventory. After learning of concerns from a parent, the principal reviewed the activity and resource and directed the teacher to discontinue the lesson immediately.
While we value efforts to build a classroom community that is inclusive and respectful of all students and backgrounds, the Wake County Public School System also respects and values student privacy and their right to engage in discussion about personal identity when they are comfortable to do so. The Diversity Inventory worksheet in question is not a district-provided resource. We will continue to work with educators on how to effectively lead important conversations connected to identity, culture, and other sensitive topics as appropriate.
We appreciate the parent bringing this concern to the school’s attention. Parental involvement is crucial to student success. Students and parents should always speak with their teacher and principal about any assignment that they have questions about or that cause them concern.
In my inquiry about the “Diversity Index” worksheet, I also asked Wake County schools if Heritage High School staff had been through the Office of Equity Affairs controversial “Beyond Diversity” and “Courageous Conversations” The district did not answer my question.
Last month, I reported on the presentation of the “Equity framework” to the NC State Board of Education by the Office of Equity Affairs (OEA). OEA’s presentation document states that educators will be the instruments for the infusion of raced-based and social justice training into “schools and classrooms.”
The presentation clearly states that “Educators will work to socialize intelligence and effort among all students in every school, every classroom, every day.”
“Leaders will model and advance courageous conversations about special education status, family income, and race, and how these attributes shape teaching and learning experiences in schools and classrooms,” the OEA presentation says.
Wake County also has “professional development” training modules available on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Social Justice Standards.” The OEA’ has actively promoted the use of these “standards” in the classroom.