Des Moines teacher talks about how she works around law banning CRT in class

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An Iowa teacher called Petra Lange was featured in the Daily Mail. According to the article, Lange detailed how she navigates Iowa’s anti-CRT law.

Lange, who teaches in the Des Moines Public School District according to her LinkedIn as well as Simpson College, said she “literally put the law in front of” her students.

The discussion came during an online forum titled UnBan Anti-Racism Education in Iowa and was centered on House File 802, which was signed into effect by Gov. Kim Reynolds earlier this year.

According to the Daily Mail, Lange said she tells her student there are concepts illegal for her to teach. She went through the concepts and, at the conclusion, was asked if it was illegal for her to be asked questions.

She told her students they could ask as many questions as they’d like because of a loophole in the law allowing for her to discuss CRT without violating House File 802.

“My courses are inquiry-based which means I do my best to put students’ questions at the center of the curriculum and then work to answer those questions,” she said. “I’ve had to work around HF-802 in really interesting ways.”

One student asked if America was systemically racist. Lange said she wouldn’t have been able to talk about that if a student did not ask.

According to Daily Mail, Lange said the law “represents systemic oppression.”

“I don’t even necessarily have to say it because they can see it,” she reportedly said.

The video appears to have been taken off YouTube.

Lange previously appeared on Interfaith Alliance’s “What’s Happening” on Facebook Live last year. She’s a member of SURJ DSM, which stands for Showing Up for Racial Justice. It’s a national network committed to pulling more white people off the sidelines and into the struggle against racism. Or at least she was at the time when she appeared with Interfaith Alliance.

Lange said SURJ has chapters across most of the states.

“Our goals really are about how do we make sure that as white folks we are educated in ways that we can participate in anti-racist movements in helpful ways — in ways that don’t necessarily harm the movement that’s already happening,” she said.

Lange discussed her work with SURJ DSM. She works in the equity education group. The accountability partners include a student-led group in nine different high schools across the Des Moines metro area.

She said they listen to those individuals and figure out ways to leverage the privilege they have and work to “disrupt those privileges and dismantle anti-racist pieces.”

One example of the work Lange and SURJ DSM do is . Al Exito mentioned the maps in Des Moines Public Schools are all based on the Mercator Model.

“Which means that they center Europe and America,” Lange said. “Like, they’re disproportionately larger than any other continent on that map. And so, um, what they asked us to do is then replace it with a – I can’t remember the name of the map that actually is accurate and represents what the world looks like and what our globe looks like.”

SURJ hosted a fundraiser to raise money to pay for all of Des Moines’ social studies classrooms — middle school and high school — to all get new maps that were “actual representations” of the planet.

They also work to make sure teachers are prepared to have the education needed to do “culturally responsive” teaching when they begin teaching.

Here are some of the posts Lange shared in February.

May be an image of text that says '"Grit" IS A CODED TERM FOR SAYING A CHILD SURVIVED THE CONDITIONS OF WHITE SUPREMACY, ANTI- BLACKNESS & CAPITALISM WITHOUT HAVING TO NAME THOSE SYSTEMS OF OPPRESSION DIRECTLY- THEIR CORRELATIVE EFFECTS ON YOUNG PEOPLE OF COLOR. "BLACK, BROWN [& INDIGENOUS] [STUDENTS] DON'T NEED TO LEARN GRIT, THEY NEED SCHOOLS TO STOP BEING RACIST.' ANDRE PERRY @SUBVERSIVE.THREAD'

May be an image of text that says '"Under-Represented "Under- Minority" BI&POC ARE NOT MINORITIES WE ARE THE WORLD'S GLOBAL MAJORITY. WE ARE ONLY "MINORITIES" WITHIN THE BORDERS OF EUROPE'S COLONIAL PROJECTS. AND WE ARE ONLY UNDER- REPRESENTED TO THE EXTENT THAT THOSE PROJECTS MUST CONTINUE LEGACIES OF GENOCIDE, SLAVERY, THEFT, & EMPIRE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THEIR BORDERS. WHITE SETTLERS MUST ASK THEMSELVES WHO WOULD THEY BE WITHOUT THEIR BORDERS? @SUBVERSIVE.THREAD'

May be an image of text that says '"Academic Rigor" RIGOR ITSELF ISN'T NECESSARILY A BAD THING 一 BUT WHEN COMBINED WITH GRADING IT BECOMES A TOOL TO CREATE CLASSROOM MERITOCRACY. IN THIS WAY RIGOR IS WIELDED AS AN EXTENSION OF THE CARCERAL STATE, TO PUNISH STRUGGLING STUDENTS BY CREATING FAILURE WHERE GROWTH MIGHT OTHERWISE EXIST. THIS CYCLE OF STRATIFYING STUDENTS INTO SUCCESSES AND FAILURES IS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN CLASSIST AND RACIST INSTITUTIONS LIKE THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE. @SUBVERSIVE.THREAD'

May be an image of text that says '"College Ready" THE BAR FOR "COLLEGE READINESS" CENTERS WHITE STUDENTS' EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES BECAUSE IT REQUIRES ACCESS TO INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT THAT MOST MAJORITY BI&POC DISTRICTS HAVE BEEN SYSTEMATICALLY CUT OFF FROM (RACIST ZONING LAWS, REDISTRICTING, & EDUCATION POLICY THAT TIES SCHOOL FUNDING TO PROPERTY TAXES). HERE "COLLEGE READINESS" BECOMES A MEANS TO TRAP PREDOMINANTLY POOR BI&POC STUDENTS INTO REMEDIATION AND EXHAUST THEIR FINANCIAL AID BEFORE THEY CAN GRADUATE. @SUBVERSIVE.THREAD E.THREAD'

May be an image of text that says '"Under Resourced" IS A WAY OF DESCRIBING THE HISTORICAL EXPLOITATION OF BI&POC COMMUNITIES AS HAPPENSTANCE RATHER THAN AS COORDINATED CAMPAIGNS OF DISENFRANCHISEMENT, MARGINALIZATION, AND TERROR. IT ALSO POSITIONS THE CURRENT DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES AND ACCESS AS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE FIXED WITH SOME SIMPLE POLICY REALIGNMENT IN AN OTHERWISE WELL- INTENTIONED SYSTEM. IT DOES NOT NAME THE INTENTIONS OF WHITE SUPREMACY, CAPITALISM, OR EMPIRE. @SUBVERSIVE.THREAD'

May be an image of text that says '"Growth Mindset" IF EDUCATORS TEACHING "GROWTH MINDSET" DO NOT TAKE YOUNG PEOPLE'S ENVIRONMENT INTO ACCOUNT, PARTICULARLY, YOUTH EXPERIENCING WHITE SUPREMACY, ANTI-BLACKNESS POVERTY, PATRIARCHY, AND ABLEISM, THEN THEY ARE ENGAGED IN GLORIFIED VICTIM BLAMING. EDUCATORS SHOULD REMEMBER THAT BI&POC EXPERIENCE SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION AND ARE MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP A "FIXED MINDSET" BECAUSE THEY ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO BE PUNISHED FOR THEIR MISTAKES. @SUBVERSIVE.THREAD'

Lange said Nikole Hannah-Jones, the author of the 1619 Project, is one of her favorite Iowans.

She gloated on Feb. 4, 2020 that there were 180 students in the auditorium at Valley High School to hear about supremacy and privilege.