Parents Upset About Posters Highlighting White Privilege, Racism in Canadian School District

A school district in Canada decided to confront racism and white privilege with a poster campaign. Some parents were less than thrilled, according to reports.

The posters in British Columbia's School District 74 were blunt with slogans like "Got privilege?" and "If you don't have to think about it, it's a privilege," CBC News reported.

"I have unfairly benefited from the color of my skin," read a poster with an image of Teresa Downs, superintendent of schools. "White privilege is not unacceptable."

B.C. school district under fire after launching anti-racism campaign https://t.co/zc1vG93ViL pic.twitter.com/A0ZcgMYXBg

— CBC Kamloops (@CBCKamloops) March 8, 2018

"We are trying to acknowledge that racism does exist and that some people, as a result of racism, are disadvantaged," said Teresa Downs, superintendent for School District 74. Read more from @cbcnewsbc here: https://t.co/zkNgkqKQ3q

— CBC Indigenous (@CBCIndigenous) March 8, 2018

"I've felt racism. Have you?" read another alongside a photo of Tammy Mountain, the district principal of Aboriginal education.

Downs told Radio NL they put the posters up in January after being inspired by another school district that did something similar.

Not all parents were happy with the poster campaign. Parent Kansas Field Allen said she believed "95 percent of the people are in favor of having the posters taken down, and that's from all races." Her husband and their children are Aboriginal.

People going ballistic over this #WhitePrivilege campaign in a BC school district, claiming its racist and divisive. Are we so fragile that the mere suggestion that skin colour still make a difference makes us lose our minds? #cdnpoli #bcpoli https://t.co/KWmfWgUwdt

— Michael Serebriakov (@MichaelSilverV) March 8, 2018

Anti-racist campaigns that name white privilege tend to generate the most backlash. But it is vitally important anti-racist work move beyond "don't say racist things" and discuss systemic issues & white privilege. Kudos to Gold Trail District. https://t.co/b0W0UQD3vW

— Elliot Worsfold (@ElliotWorsfold) March 8, 2018

Parents were also upset that they weren't told about the posters in advance, citing difficulties talking about it with young children.

"You and I can talk as adults about these posters, but what do you say to a first-grader?" Field Allen said, according to CBC News.

Downs said the posters were simply a part of the work the schools were doing to combat "the issues of colonization, racism, prejudice and privilege."

"I'm also not saying, and really would like to clear up, the thought that all white people are of a high socioeconomic status," she told Radio NL. "I am well aware that there are white people in our communities, as well as the province and across the country, who are suffering from economic challenges. And the word 'privilege' in this context is not connected to affluence."