Wheeling Park High School principal stands behind teacher called by lawmaker | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by Joselyn King Meredith Dailer, Principal of Wheeling Park High School, addresses the Ohio County School Board during a meeting in October.

WHEELING — Wheeling Park High School principal Meredith Dailer supports her teacher’s efforts to teach literature, inspire critical thinking and foster anti-racism discussion in the classroom.

And critical race theory is not taught in school, she said.

The words spoken by WPHS 12th grade literature teacher Isabella Droginske on a school-produced video were criticized on a statewide radio show last week.

A lawmaker pointed to the comments as an example of teaching philosophies at WPHS that fall under critical race theory.

Droginske said in the video that she used the works of Ibrahim X. Kendi — author, anti-racism activist and Boston University professor — as a teaching tool in her classroom.

“I use Dr. Kendi’s anti-racism literature to integrate myself and get a full view so that we can talk about racism in class and really work on anti-racism in our discussions,” Droginske told a WPHS video news team. .

“We want to teach critical thinking, and analytical thinking is part of the classroom,” Dailer said. “We want our children before they leave us…criticize what they read and hear, and what we try to create are well-meaning adults.”

She added that she considers Kendi’s writings to be a valuable starting point for discussion and thoughtful discussion of racism.

Other grade 12 language arts teachers use discussions about race in their classroom, and there’s also a black history class in the school, she said.

And the discussion of different cultures and races doesn’t end there, according to Dailer. A Nazi Germany history course is available at the WPHS, as is a world history course.

She denied that critical race theory was taught in school.

“It’s really important to note that critical race theory is not part of our curriculum,” Dailer said. “It’s part of a higher education analysis of the legal system, and it’s not covered in our curriculum.”

Comments on teaching at WPHS came from delegate Chris Pritt, R-Kanawha, on the statewide Metronews Talkline radio show. He is the author of House Bill 4011, “Establishing the Anti-Stereotyping Act”, which currently sits before the House Judiciary Committee.

The legislation aims to ensure that information about what is taught in a school’s classroom is detailed on the school’s or school district’s website.

The wording of the bill states that this would include “all training materials, including materials for teachers, relating to or used in the training of school personnel on all matters of non-discrimination, diversity, equity, inclusion, race, ethnicity, gender or prejudice, or any combination of these concepts with other concepts.

It also states that “a county board, public school, public charter school, or any employee thereof may not, within the scope or scope of employment, promote, adopt, or endorse stereotypes based on race, sex, ethnic origin, religion or national origin.”

It would also prohibit schools from promoting that “one race, sex, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior to another race, sex, ethnicity, religion or national origin”.

Pritt called out Droginske and WPHS for using Kendi’s writings.

“He was a person who said the CRT was the basis of his writing,” Pritt said. “He also said he was against capitalism. It’s a concept that is apparently implemented by some at Wheeling Park High School.

“This legislation deals with some things that we believe should not be taught,” he said.

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