A school district in Pennsylvania cited copyright concerns to hide the details of the racial equity training curriculum disseminated to teachers as concerned parents in the district are demanding to see the documents.
Parents of the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District railed against the district’s racial bias training that has been implemented since 2018 in a meeting on Tuesday, demanding the curriculum that teachers in their schools are using be released.
The Tredyffrin/Easttown School District director of curriculum, instruction and staff development Wendy Towle cited “copyright concerns” as the reason why they couldn’t show parents the materials their schools are using to instruct students, according to an email obtained by the activist group Parents Defending Education (PDE).
Towle said in the email that the materials, which were provided by the Pacific Educational Group consulting firm, “constitutes proprietary information” to the consulting firm and that she could not share the curriculum “without legally exposing the District to copyright violations.”
In a statement to Fox News on Wednesday, PDE spokeswoman Erika Sanzi said that it’s “always a red flag when a school district refuses to allow the public to see instructional materials.”
“For better or worse, parents have concerns about what they see happening in the district in service of the district’s equity initiative and its partnership with the Pacific Educational Group (who I assume is being paid handsomely with public dollars),” Sanzi said.
“It is a problem that school officials would cite ‘copyright restrictions’ as a reason to keep curriculum away from the eyes of parents and the public, especially when it relates to topics that are highly sensitive, complex and contentious,” she added.
During the meeting, Deana Wang, a parent in the district, asked why parents haven’t been allowed to see the curriculum and revealed the district signed an NDA with Pacific Educational Group that prevents parents from learning what is being taught to their children.
“America is great because of two reasons; this country nurtures innovative minds that drive progress on a global scale, and American people who seek to embrace constructive criticism,” Wang said in the meeting.
“Critical Race Theory is creating the indoctrination environment that will constrain children’s creative sense of self and consequently limit their analytical productivity as adults,” she continued.
When asked for comment about whether they’d share the materials in the interest of transparency, the school district’s director of equity and public programs Dr. Oscar Torres told Fox News that the materials “are proprietary and are not ours to disseminate.”
“This is not an issue of transparency,” Torres wrote in an email to Fox News on Wednesday. “As with most organizations that provide training, P.E.G owns the specific materials and you may wish to contact them for permission.”
According to the school district’s “Equity Initiative,” Tredyffrin/Easttown “has been working with the Pacific Educational Group (PEG) to develop and implement racial equity measures in our school community.”
“Our goal is foundational and transformative change,” the page reads. “As we seek to address this initiative, our work involves intensive training, beginning fully and systemically with school leaders, and eventually reaching through our schools and students over a sustained period of time.”
Pacific Educational Group spokesperson Gabriel Gima declined to say if they would publicize the materials and told Fox News in an email on Wednesday that he believes the issue is more about the parents who believe critical race theory “is Marxist.”
“I think the matter has less to do with us and more to do with a few parents who think Critical Race Theory is Marxist,” Gima wrote. “There is clearly some confusion.”
Backlash over critical race theory in schools continues to ignite debates across the country as some states outright ban the educational theory from being taught in schools.
Loudoun County in Virginia saw chaos break out at their recent school board meeting where parents of students in Loudoun County Public Schools railed against critical race theory before the board ended the meeting prematurely.