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“living racialized experiences every moment of every day”

The Plymouth Public Schools spent $7000 for a day long critical race training session attended by a select group of students and staff at Plymouth South High School earlier this month, according to documents obtained by 1620Today.

The session was designed to reject color blindness, induce white “guilt and shame” and have participants recognize they were “living racialized experiences every moment of every day” before eventually asking white participants what “type of White person they want to be.”

The training asked participants to place themselves on a “Racial Identity Development” continuum [see below] divided by race: African American/Bi-racial/White. The continuum for each race was distinctly different. The training was conducted by Henry J Turner, principal of Newton North High School, who also hosted a one hour faculty meeting titled the “anti-racist educator.” The full day training session was billed at $6000 and the one hour faculty meeting at $1000 [invoices below].

In the white racial identity continuum, whites “after feeling guilty and ashamed, Whites may move into the emergence stage where they start to understand their privilege and how it has and continue to benefit them. They also now begin to take control over the type of White person they want to be like.”

In the first “contact” stage of being white, the training asserts “The individual adheres to the ‘colorblind’ motto. They see racial difference but do not find it salient and in fact may feel that racism is in fact propagated by the discussion and acknowledgement of race as an issue. In this stage, there is no conscious demonstration of racism here. This seemingly non-racist position can cover unconscious racist beliefs.”

Plymouth South High School originally posted the session on its Facebook page with the caption: “PSHS staff and students worked today with Newton North High School Principal Mr. Henry Turner. Henry is helping our school community begin the important work of developing a racial identity. Thank you to all staff and students who participated today!”

When asked how a “school community” develops a “racial identity” Plymouth South responded on Facebook: “We are working to develop an identity that is free of bias and truly welcomes all students. This has always been our goal but this is more intentional. Some of our guiding questions are: Who is included? Who is not included? What do we need to do to make sure more students are included? Feel free to reach out to the school at 508-224-7512 and we can share more of the focus.”

The documents below were obtained by a public records request to the Plymouth School Department. Click links in presentations to dive deeper into the training.