This story was shared by an NPS parent/caregiver.
Image ID: the background of images 1, 2, and 3 is orange (upper one-third) and purple (lower two-thirds), with a large white square with rounded corners overlaying and within that square, this text in purple: “My daughter recently brought home a letter from her teacher, letting families know that he was reading aloud a chapter book with an upcoming scene of police violence against a person of color. We were told that if we were not comfortable with our child being exposed to the content, our child could leave the classroom during this segment of the read-aloud. At the time, I asked my daughter a bit about the book and if she was comfortable hearing the scene and wanted to stay in the room, to which she said yes. We are a family that talks regularly about race and racism and whiteness and police violence and systems of power, oppression and inequity. So with my daughter’s consent, I think I had a vague thought that, ‘Great, I’m always glad to hear she’s having similar conversations in school,’ before carrying on with the dozen other tasks to be done and without giving the letter, the book or the potential implications much more thought.
A few weeks later, a conversation about race and racism with a dear friend made me look back on a handful of seemingly innocuous moments like this with a new eye—and with the question, ‘Might I have felt differently, were I and/or my child of the global majority?’ I imagine a range of different reactions people might have had, not simply depending on the color of their skin, but on their particular values and experiences.
Regardless of the myriad ways any of us might feel and act in everyday exchanges, I am uncomfortably aware that, even as someone who moves through the world consistently looking for how race and whiteness and power play out in every interaction, my White privilege blinds (not to mention protects) me, time and again. It protects me from having to think about how a story of violence against people of the global majority might impact my child’s sense of self and safety in the world. And it blinds me from even recognizing the potential import of countless moments that arise—moments that, for other caregivers and young people, might be full of meaning, fear, rage, disappointment, significance.”
Image 4 has the same orange/purple split background, with the white text “Story Themes” running up the lower left side and two columns of white boxes (four per column) displaying our eight story themes. Here, the theme Lack of Understanding is emphasized with bright/bold colors.