Published April 09, 2021
For Immediate Release
April 9, 2021
SAN DIEGO, CA -- April 9, 2021- Today, Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER), along with its five partner organizations, filed a formal discrimination and civil rights violation complaint against the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) regarding unlawful, discriminatory critical race training of teachers and employees. The Complaint has been filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR), SDUSD and the San Diego County Office of Education. CFER is joined by the San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, Educators for Quality and Equality, TOC Foundation, and US Asian Art & Culture Association, on behalf of their constituents, which include teachers, concerned community members and taxpayers.
In the Complaint, CFER and its partner organizations allege that SDUSD has engaged in unlawful discrimination against its employees through a series of racially biased and hostile required training programs. We contend that SDUSD's implementation of race-based employee training programs under the banner of "Culturally Responsive Sustaining Practices & Ethnic Studies" and other relevant training violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Article I Section 31 (a) of the California Constitution, as well as state anti-discrimination laws and Board policies.
"The San Diego Unified School District blatantly propagates racist ideas and theories, subjugating its teachers to disparate treatment based on race," said Frank Xu, CFER's president. "Such racially motivated political indoctrination stokes racial tensions and will ultimately weaken our national competitiveness. We are genuinely concerned about the future of this great nation if it continues on this path of racial divisions!"
"As educators, we recognize the value of engaging in important discourse around race and racism, with the goal of equipping teachers to improve educational outcomes for all students. Unfortunately, the San Diego Unified School District implemented a training program based on critical race theory, which instead exacerbates division and racial discrimination and demeans teachers based on skin color," commented Lori Meyers, Co-Founder of Educators for Quality and Equality. "We are deeply concerned about the effect this will have on our students, as well, should this discriminatory ideology flow into the classroom. We are grateful to Californians for Equal Rights Foundation for standing up for SDUSD educators who are entitled to equal treatment and equal protection under the law."
As one of the largest urban school districts in the U.S., SDUSD has more than 226 educational facilities and 13,559 employees, including 6,300 teachers. The District is required by law to provide equal protection of the laws for all of its employees regardless of race. Therefore, we ask OCR, SDUSD and the County Office of Education to launch immediate investigations into the unlawful practices detailed in the Complaint. SDUSD must stop propagating unlawful racial discrimination, and a hostile workplace.
Read our complaint.
About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.