Videos shown to New Prague school staff depict white people as mosquitoes and inherently biased against black people.
“Just imagine, instead of being a stupid comment, a microaggression is a mosquito bite,” one of the videos teaching about microaggressions says. It goes on to explain that some people are bitten by “mosquitoes” a lot more than others.
New Prague Superintendent Andrew Vollmuth told Alpha News a different “version of the video” than the one Alpha News provided him with “was shown to our district staff.” The only other version Alpha News could find is a non-explicit one. Vollmuth did not respond to repeated follow-up inquiries.
The video says that telling people they are well spoken, complimenting their hair, or asking when a person is going to have a baby are all microaggressions. Other microaggressions “can even kill you,” the video explains, showing a man who shot someone because “it looked like he was up to trouble.”
The narrator explains that getting bit by mosquitoes frequently is annoying and “makes you want to go ballistic on those mosquitoes, which seems like a huge overreaction to people who only get bit every once in a while.” It then shows a woman using a flamethrower to kill the mosquitos.
The second video, called “Our Hidden Biases,” follows a black child at a social worker’s office. “Can we talk about how you got here?” the woman asks.
The video then travels back in time, where a white store owner called the police on the boy and two of his black friends for loitering. Other stories about the boy include a white doctor implying that the boy’s mother broke his arm and a white mom and her child leaving the playground when the boy and his parents arrive.
“The New Prague Area Schools is dedicated to creating a culture where all students have an equal and inclusive opportunity to thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” Superintendent Vollmuth told Alpha News. “As a school system, we will honor the uniqueness of each individual and embrace diverse backgrounds, values and viewpoints that will build an empowered school community while acknowledging our differences as strengths.”
Vollmuth explained that the videos were part of staff professional development to “proactively address the needs of our increasingly diverse community.”
“Microaggression and bias were topics embedded in this professional development,” he said.