Popular conservative social media account Libs of TikTok has drawn attention to an assignment discussing “white privilege” given to students in Katy Independent School District.
“Students were asked to reflect on whiteness, being white, their experience with ‘white privilege,’ and ‘colorblindness.’ They also watched videos on white people discussing systemic racism and how white people are racist,” Libs of TikTok posted on X.
The account added that Katy ISD did not respond to their request for comment on “potentially breaking Texas law banning CRT from classrooms and why they’re teaching white kids that they’re racist because of their skin color.”
In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed a state law banning K-12 educators from including in a course the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.” It also bans teaching that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
Although the ban is widely referred to as a ban on Critical Race Theory (CRT), the law never mentions CRT specifically but instead focuses on the core tenets of the theory.
Texas Scorecard has reported on several instances where educators are attempting to bypass the state law to continue teaching CRT principles.
The assignment provided to Katy ISD students directed them to watch videos from a series titled Intersection of I created by the Whiteness Project, a nine-year-old media project with a production team in Dallas.
Students were told to first watch a video in which a person named Connor says, “I would be in jail if I was not white.” Evidently, Connor was arrested several times for various offenses but always escaped “with a slap on the wrist” because he could “get a lawyer, suit up, and show up.”
The assignment asked students to identify what privileges Connor has because of his “whiteness” and compare how his life might be different if he were a person of color. It also asks students to explain the “importance of talking about whiteness.”
Students were then directed to watch a few more videos from the Whiteness Project and discuss colorblindness. The assignment asks students, “How is colorblindness a form of white privilege?”
Texas Family Project commented, stating, “How about we stop teaching kids that they’re ‘privileged’ or not and teach them that with hard work, they can achieve anything. This does nothing to help these kids learn and grow.”
A spokesman for Katy ISD told Texas Scorecard the assignment in question took place last school year at Tompkins High School.
“A teacher had independently identified and shared the activity with a class of students. To be clear, it was not a campus or district-sanctioned lesson or classroom activity and is not part of the approved Katy ISD curriculum,” said the spokesman. “All campuses have a process in place for the review and approval of classroom activities for all grade level topics and subjects. Upon being informed of the incident last school year, the campus administration promptly addressed the matter with the teacher, reviewed protocols with all staff, and has provided assurances that instructional personnel are adhering to curriculum standards.”