On Saturday, October 17th–at the Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice–Sooz Stahl, Gerardine Carroll, and I will again be teaming up to tell the story of the Race Curriculum Controversy:


Discussion: A Case Study of the Race Curriculum Controversy in Seattle Public Schools

In 2012, the Seattle School Board passed the landmark policy, Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity. That same year, Seattle Public Schools supported one complaining white family opposed to a study of race at The Center School, first by suspending the race curriculum and then by transferring its teacher. What strategies were used to attack this unit? How can educators protect themselves and the classroom as a safe forum for understanding race and challenging racism? Listen to teachers who resisted the district’s action, a battle that lasted through January of 2015. Find out how the story ultimately concluded and where we should go from here. 

Jon Greenberg is an award-winning public high school teacher in Seattle and Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. Gerardine Carroll, a National Board Certified Teacher, has 26 years of experience in both Catholic and public schools. In addition, she served as an adjunct instructor for six years in the School of Education at Seattle University. Susan Stahl has taught for 15 years, mainly Language Arts, in both Chicago and Seattle. She is also a doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Washington.


Unlike most of the previous speaking engagements on this issue, the coming presentation will actually have an ending–at least a chapter’s end. In addition, it will include a discussion regarding how educators can better protect themselves from such attacks. As an article from Atlanta Blackstar demonstrates, the attack in Seattle was part of far larger trend. Finally, the presentation will include a report on the backlash to a post on mine that went viral over the summer, Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to my website. More than anything, the hate-filled, racist backlash only proves that more Americans desperately need to formally study issues of race and racism.

If you are close to Seattle this weekend, I encourage you to check out the conference, which will be filled with inspirational figures from the region. Click here to view the program.

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