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A Nevada family has sued a public charter school after the school forced William Clark, a biracial young man in twelfth grade, to take classes teaching Critical Race Theory and make public professions about these concepts on a personal level or receive a failing grade.
Clark and his mother filed a federal lawsuit against Democracy Preparatory Academy and the school's administrators Dec. 22 alleging the school violated several of Clark's constitutional rights.
The suit alleges Clark didn't just have to take a class teaching Critical Race Theory but he had to absorb the concepts and "to make professions about his racial, sexual, gender and religious identities" according to court documents. The lawsuit alleges that if Clark did not comply with these course requirements, the school maintained he would not receive a passing grade in the class. Currently, Clark is suspended after having been labeled a racist.
In the class adopting Critical Race Theory, students were taught concepts like "internalized oppression," "internalized privilege," and "institutional sexism/racism/transphobia."
The lawsuit alleges in these classes, Clark had to "reveal his identities in a controlled, yet non-private setting, to scrutiny and official labeling," and that instructors were "coercing him to accept and affirm politicized and discriminatory principles and statements that he cannot in conscience affirm."
The educators "repeatedly threatened William Clark with material harm including a failing grade and non-graduation if he failed to comply with their requirements."
The lawsuit contains alarming details about the Critical Race Theory curriculum being taught at Democracy Preparatory Academy—curriculum parents were not told about before it was taught and in fact, while the contents had recently changed to be even more progressive, the syllabi students and parents received remained the same.
Thus, students and parents remained unaware of the changes until the courses began. "Parents...were not aware of the turn towards coercive, ideological indoctrination until they began seeing the detrimental effects it worked up in their children," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges that it was not enough that Clark take the class and earn a passing grade but that he must "profess himself complicit in 'internalized privilege [which] includes acceptance of a belief in the inherent inferiority of the [corresponding] oppressed group' [and] supporting 'the inherent superiority or normalcy of one's own privileged group.'"
As a result of this coercion, Clark has suffered "severe mental and emotional stress" resulting from the hostile environment and is "living in fear" of retaliation.
The Daily Caller reported "material from the civics class that William Clark was required to take was adapted from the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw, a Columbia University and UCLA professor. She popularized the term intersectionality and Critical Race Theory in the late 1980s and 1990s within academia."
While Critical Race Theory has gained in popularity, especially this last year due to the New York Times' "1619 Project," this lawsuit standing up to a school forcing a student to embrace the racist concepts embedded in the ideas may be the first of its kind.