‘Hot Topics’ event takes on ‘indoctrination’ in the classroom

Northern Essex faculty gathered for a Hot Topics event hosted by President Glenn on Monday, Feb. 27 to discuss ideological indoctrination in the classrooms of schools across the United States.

The Center for Professional Development welcomed administration and staff in room C209 to discuss ideology in the classroom and the current debate about students in schools across America, and the claim that they are being indoctrinated to swing one way or another. Faculty discussed Critical Race Theory, otherwise known as CRT, which has become a hot topic in states like Florida, which is home to possible presidential candidate, Governor Ron DeSantis.
Governor DeSantis is gaining popularity in headlines due to his aggressive attempts to defund diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on college campuses.

As seen above, the Stop Woke Act was signed into law last year.

According to the Florida State Government website, this law “essentially prohibits instruction on race relations or diversity that imply a person’s status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.

The bill also bans both schools and workplaces from subjecting any student or employee to training or instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individuals to believe specified concepts constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin.”

Educators voiced their approach in the classroom and were widely in agreement that fostering discussions that allow students of both sides of an issue to speak freely while maintaining respect for others was their top priority.

Some educators stated that they maintain a nonpartisan approach as they believe the discussion flows better without their opinion on an issue known.

Conversations then leaned towards racial equity. Northern Essex has also taken steps to better diversity and access to students of all backgrounds, which the Stop Woke Act works to dismantle.

Northern Essex Community College welcomed Francellis Quiñones in July of last year as the college’s first Chief Officer of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “The college has invested in this position to address systemic racism, but before that was established, there were groups that were working on racial equity and ELL. Both groups examine policies and procedures that impact all students and look at what has given students disadvantages or barriers to their access and success” says Quiñones.

The conversation also addressed what the board of trustees and president are doing to better diversify staff.
Faculty does not often represent the students they interact with. Administration is making better strides to diversify the campus.

Dean of Academic Innovations and Professional Development, Marcy Yeager, echoed similar thoughts, “The takeaway really is there is no one solution or simple answer to this, and it’s something we all need to think about, individually and as an institution.”