Sam Dorman, Fox News, December 24, 2020
The suit was filed Tuesday by a high school senior at Democracy Prep at the Agassi campus in Las Vegas, who claims he was forced to take the course — titled “Sociology of Change” — in order to graduate.
William Clark, whose mother is Black and deceased father was White, claims he felt discriminated against and harassed by various aspects of the course — including an alleged assertion that by not identifying with an oppressive group, students were exercising their privilege or underscoring their status as an oppressor.
Clark and his mother, Gabrielle, are seeking damages for severe mental and emotional distress, as well as allegedly “permanent” damages to his academic career.
Rather than allowing William Clark to avoid the class or replace it with other alternatives, the school insisted he complete it, according to the complaint.
One of the instructional slides included in the complaint shows lists dominant groups in American culture as “white,” “male,” “middle/upper class,” “heterosexual,” and “protestant/Christian,” while “everyone else” is classified as “submissive.”
Kathryn Bass, Clark’s teacher who is named as a defendant in the suit, similarly associates elements of her own identity — like “White, Irish, American citizen” — with “privilege.” Others like “female” and “working class” are associated with an “oppressive” label. Meanwhile, she says she’s “both privilege and oppressive” in her identifying as “bisexual” and having a mental health disability.
She also allegedly addressed students as “social justice warriors,” taught students that “[B]lack prejudice does not affect the rights of white people,” and used a meme to argue “reverse racism doesn’t exist.”
Clark and others in his class allegedly objected when they were taught those ideas, according to the complaint. The complaint, which was filed in a Nevada district court, claims that Bass “terminated class discussion” amid in response to Clark’s claim that “everyone can be racist” and “that prejudice anywhere from anyone can harm others.”
“For this protected speech and others like it, Defendant Kathryn Bass terminated class discussion immediately with the intent to chill and discourage future objections to Defendants’ sponsored politicized ideology,” the complaint reads. It also points out that although the school has encouraged other forms of dissent, like “occupying a cafeteria,” the same privilege seemed to not extend to Clark.
Besides Bass, the lawsuit names other higher-level officials, whom they claim were involved in pushing the curriculum onto students.
The Clarks’ lawsuit includes a claim that the school infringed on his privacy by requiring him to fill out a form identifying himself with certain identity categories.