News & Politics

Hispanic Students in California Were Forced to Learn Critical Race Theory. Here's What Happened

Hispanic Students in California Were Forced to Learn Critical Race Theory. Here's What Happened
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Kali Fontanilla, a high school English language teacher working in the Salinas school district, says that many of her students were failing the ethnic studies class mandated by the Democratic-controlled California state legislature.


Fontanilla teaches in a school district with a vast majority of Hispanic students. But she had no idea what the “ethnic studies” course was all about until she went online to investigate. The black, Christian conservative was shocked at what she found.

“My students are failing ethnic studies,” says Fontanilla, who is of Jamaican ancestry. “I would say half of them are failing this ethnic studies class.”

This made Fontanilla curious about what the course was teaching. All of the high school’s teachers used the same online platform to post lesson plans and course materials, so Fontanilla decided to take a look. She was shocked by what she saw.

“This was like extreme left brainwashing of these kids,” says Fontanilla. “Critical race theory all throughout the lessons, from start to finish. The whole thing.”

But it’s not called “critical race theory” so it can’t be critical race theory, right?

Many adherents of CRT deny that it’s taught to primary education students, and the mainstream media have been quick to line up behind such claims. That’s why Fontanilla’s discovery was so significant.

“The teacher had the kids all learn about the four I’s of oppression,” says Fontanilla. The four I’s were institutional, internalized, ideological, and interpersonal oppression. “And then there was a whole presentation on critical race theory and they actually had the students analyze the school through critical race theory.”

Slides from lesson plans provided by Fontanilla confirm that the ethnic studies course references critical race theory by name.


The concepts that undergird critical race theory are being taught at every educational level from primary grades through graduate school.

In a statement to The Epoch Times, Dan Burns, superintendent of Salinas Union High School district, denied that the course was based on CRT, though he conceded that CRT “is addressed in our course as one of the frameworks within the K-12 Ethnic Studies Outcomes list.”

Indeed, CRT is referenced in the district’s ethnic course syllabus, which is available online. The syllabus stresses that students will study “intergenerational trauma” through an interdisciplinary and critical lens. Scholarly articles about critical race theory are included in the suggested curriculum, including “Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth,” by Tara J. Yosso, a UCLA professor of education who specializes in critical race theory.

Fontanilla wrote a letter to the school board protesting the “attempt at left-wing indoctrination.” When the letter was read at a public school board meeting, the parents cheered.

The school board banned anti-CRT comments at its next public meeting.

Related: ‘Nobody Wants This Crap’: DeSantis Champions Bill Allowing Parents, Employees to Sue Over CRT Harm

There are nearly 14,000 school districts in the United States. That’s 14,000 opportunities for left-wing indoctrination disguised as “ethnic studies,” which isn’t “ethnic” at all but racial in nature.


There is more to the world than race and racial differences. To teach that race is the end-all and be-all of life in the United States is doing a spectacular disservice to children. This doesn’t mean, as some parents apparently believe, that teaching about historical racism and oppression should somehow be lumped in with CRT.

But it does mean that when it is taught, there must be context, there must be an understanding of how we got from slavery to a black president. And there must be a recognition of how exceptional that journey was and that white and black Americans were involved.

Otherwise, it’s not history. It’s brainwashing. It’s propaganda.

And it definitely isn’t “education” as rational Americans understand it.


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