An indoctrination program that was shut down at the University of Delaware last year after it was revealed the teachings included, “All whites are racist,” now is being revived, and an organization monitoring such educational behavior is concerned there will be violations similar to those of a year ago.
Adam Kissell, a spokesman for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told WND his worry is that this year’s “program” for incoming students at Delaware has the same “learning outcomes” as a year ago, the same administrators are running it, and components appear simply to have been renamed, instead of changed.
WND reported a year ago when a series of teachings mandated for all residence halls told students “all whites are racists.”
FIRE had written to university President Patrick Harker about its concerns, including its worries that “somehow, the University of Delaware seems terrifyingly unaware that a state-sponsored institution of higher education in the United States does not have the legal right to engage in a program of systematic thought reform.”
At that time, Samantha Harria, FIRE’s director of legal and public advocacy, suggested, “The First Amendment protests the rights of freedom of conscience . . . the right to keep our innermost thoughts free from governmental intrusion.”
She cited a school teaching that told students: “A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. ‘The term applies to all white people. . . .’”
Students came forward “in droves” in 2007 to complain, FIRE said, also citing concerns over indoctrination about homosexuality and environmentalism.
Under the program documentation revealed then, student managers of residence halls were told to summon students for one-on-one questioning during which they were instructed to respond to questions such as: “When did you discover your sexual identity?”
Kissell told WND today FIRE is concerned that some of the labels may have been changed in the program, but the underlying indoctrination plans remain.
He noted that Harker, in his announcement earlier about the controversial program, said it was being suspended and officials would work together on making changes.
“These are the same people who called the program a ‘treatment’ for students who ResLife has tagged as morally and ideologically deficient,” [Kissel] wrote in an analysis of the work.
Of special concern are the “conversations” that are between student residence hall managers and students, Kissell said.
“What will the oversight be? Will RAs know not to ask invasive questions? Will they be instructed to focus on diversity and tolerance and sustainability, or will they genuinely listen and respond to what each student actually wants to talk about?”