FAIR News: Promoting a Pro-Human Potluck in Seattle
Dear Friends of FAIR,
On March 16th, FAIR Legal sent an urgent email to Seattle Public Schools (SPS) about an incident report we received through our anonymous reporting site, FAIRtransparency.org. The report indicated that Lincoln High School planned to host a segregated potluck lunch on March 17th, 2023. Based on the report we received, and as confirmed in the newsletter from Lincoln HS principal Corey Eichner, it appeared that certain students would not be allowed to attend the lunch due to their skin color or ethnicity.
Specifically, the newsletter stated:
On Friday of Multicultural Week, students and staff of color and/or those who identify with any group represented by BSU [Black Student Union]/LSU [Latino Student Union]/ASU [Asian Student Union] are invited for a lunch potluck.
In our communication to the school, FAIR emphasized that public schools are prohibited from discriminating against students and employees on the basis of race, skin color, or national origin. When a public school segregates or excludes its students or employees from benefits the school provides on the basis of these traits, the school violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
As proponents of pro-human antiracism, FAIR applauded Lincoln High School’s efforts to celebrate its diverse student body. However, holding a school lunch as described in Principal Eichner’s newsletter would undoubtedly constitute a school benefit, and neither Mr. Eichner nor any employee of Seattle Public Schools may lawfully exclude students or employees from that lunch on the basis of their immutable traits.
FAIR urged the school to make the lunch event open to all students and employees, and to immediately and publicly notify the entire Lincoln High School community of the change. We were heartened to receive a prompt response from Seattle Public Schools confirming the lunch would be open to all students, regardless of immutable traits. We are grateful to Seattle Public Schools for taking the pro-human approach to its multicultural week celebration.
If you’d like FAIR’s legal team to engage your school, workplace, or institution, consider filing a report on FAIR Transparency.
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Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann, Illustrated by London Ladd
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Virtual Community Meetup with Kimi Katiti: 3/28
FAIR in the Arts' next Virtual Community Meetup will be hosted on Tuesday, March 28th from 7-9 PM EST. We are pleased to feature special guest FAIR in the Arts Fellow Kimi Katiti (Visual Artist, Musician, and Speaker) in a discussion moderated by FAIR in the Arts Fellow Heather Blakeslee (Musician, Writer, & Editor of Root Quarterly). We will be speaking with Kimi about her creative journey, her outlook for the arts, and more.
Say More Event Series Launch
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We need Pro-Human medicine that benefits all patients...We must be allowed to question and challenge prevailing opinion...We must never let unquestionable illiberal orthodoxies prevent the saving of lives and the healing of illness.
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In its zeal to do the right thing from a “woke” perspective, Lincoln High School blithely ignored the Civil Rights Act and the Bill of Rights, as if these foundational documents didn’t exist or had fallen down the well of irrelevance. We’re fortunate that in past decades, the inhumane and unacceptable practice of discrimination on the basis of race or other immutable traits was challenged by the values stated in the Bill of Rights and then codified into law. If FAIR had to start from scratch today, confronting Lincoln High School’s well-meaning but illiberal potluck without the benefit of settled law, FAIR’s chance of success would be small or even challenged with outrage and accusations of racism. Just another example of why FAIR is so necessary in 2023.
Thank you, FAIR, for your intervention. It is so very troubling when the schools take the lead in promoting discriminatory practices. How soon can we take the lead in demanding that Schools of Education either be abolished or that they only admit students at all degree levels who are capable of making intelligent decisions?