Manchester teacher resigns after refusing to teach the district’s mandatory equity work

Hartford

MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — A Manchester teacher has resigned after refusing to teach the district’s mandatory equity work.

Jen Tafuto taught in the Manchester School District for three years. She says teaching has always been her passion.

While that hasn’t changed, the curriculum has.

Tafuto told News 8 there was a big roll-out of equity work this year, including books, questions, and activities for elementary school kids focusing on race.

“We were given read-aloud books with a series of questions to ask our students during and after these read-aloud books,” Tafuto said. “Just a few examples, ‘I think it was totally unfair that white people were allowed to automatically have the bench at the bus stop just because they were white. I do not think white people are better or more deserving than black people which makes it very upsetting to me that they got better treatment.'”

“I would tell my students if they are ever watching this that they are cared for and loved and they are more than just the color of their skin and that I am so proud of them and I look forward to seeing all the great things they’ll do,” Tafuto said.

Just this year, Tafuto says a parent tried opting her child out of being taught the equity work but the superintendent reportedly said that wasn’t possible.

News 8 reached out to Superintendent Matthew Geary for comment and received a statement that reads in part:

“Manchester Public Schools recognizes its responsibility to address in grade and age-appropriate ways issues that include racism, inequities, discrimination and system bias. We know that the historic and current realities of racism make it more difficult for Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other students of color to be successful. The work we are doing in Manchester is necessary, relevant and overdue.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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