Imagine being a teenager in high school. You know, those awkward years when everything is embarrassing and you’re positive your parents’ goal in life is to humiliate you in front of your friends. Now imagine being in a classroom and the teacher presents this assignment: Tell me and everyone in this room your name, gender identity, sexual preference, religion, and socio-economic standing – and those of your family members, too. A wacky afterschool special on cable TV? No. This happened at Heritage High School in Wake County, North Carolina, to students who had the unfortunate luck of being in Melissa Wilson’s English class and were assigned to take the Diversity Inventory.
Diversity Inventory – or Discrimination?
Certain discriminatory questions are illegal for employers to ask potential and current employees. They include age, religion, and sexual preference. Why, then, would this not also apply to vulnerable, underage students? Apparently, Wilson didn’t have such concerns, and her Diversity Inventory had some children in tears.
First, the students were given a sheet of paper and told to fill out a questionnaire that asked for their name, religion, age, sexuality, gender, and socio-economic status. Then the teens were told to stand next to one of the posters placed around the room with which they most identified.
So not only were they required to answer embarrassing and totally inappropriate questions, but also they had to stand up on display in front of classmates. Peer pressure would likely send the majority of students to the poster where most of the classmates were standing, whether they identified with it or not.
This situation attracted the attention of North Carolina Values, a non-partisan, grassroots network that advocates for pro-family positions. It investigated and said that the Wake County Public Schools System’s Equity Affairs office has conducted training seminars on “Social Justice Standards.” Their goal is to educate and activate students to advance a particular socialist and social-democratic political ideology:
“Students were also asked to stand up, and walk towards posters in different areas of the room that correlated with their sexual identities. Students were traumatized. Some were even brought to tears. At this morning’s meeting, one parent said that her student had been experiencing PTSD from the incident. Another student didn’t attend school on Friday, and is so scared to return to Wilson’s classroom environment that they told their parent they hoped the hurricane would distract everyone from this incident. Another parent’s child Facetimed them in the middle of the classroom to tell them how uncomfortable they were with the assignment. Another student had a friend who had recently shared very private information about themselves to a select number of their peers, and went white when the teacher asked students to now stand and reveal their private identities.”
Wilson, according to North Carolina Values, responded to the students’ discomfort by saying “it was alright because she used to be Catholic and is now a bi-sexual atheist.” And that makes it okay?