Kyle Olson, EAG News, March 11, 2013
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction runs several programs that heavily emphasize racial issues in public schools.
Some feel that one of those programs — an Americorps operation called VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) — may go a bit overboard by encouraging white students to wear a white wristband “as a reminder about your (white) privilege.”
Geared towards high school students, the program “seeks to build capacity in schools and districts serving low-income families to develop an effective, sustainable, research-based program of family-school-community partnerships,” according to its Facebook page.
The webpage also offers a series of suggestions for high schools students to become more racially sensitive. They include:
- Wear a white wristband as a reminder about your privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband.
- Set aside sections of the day to critically examine how privilege is working.
- Put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege.
The Wisconsin DPI also sponsors several similar programs, including CREATE Wisconsin, an on-going “cultural sensitivity” teacher training program which focuses largely on “whiteness” and “white privilege.”