Election door hangers attacking the St. Charles Public Library and St. Charles School District 303 for promoting critical race theory and social emotional learning are being distributed throughout the city.
It is not known who or what group is distributing the hangers. The hangers do not carry the name of any group.
The email address EducateILLKids@gmail.com is listed on the hangers as a contact for people who have questions. The Kane County Chronicle sent an email to the address but has not received a reply.
According to the door hangers, District 303 and the St. Charles Public Library are spending “considerable resources on divisive social engineering projects like Critical Race Theory, also called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Social Emotional Learning.”
The hangers also state that schools and libraries are “eroding parental and constitutional rights by promoting the ‘sexualization’ and ‘gender dysphoria’ in children as young as preschool, yet are exempt from this prosecution!’ "
“District 303 is not on the Nov. 8 ballot,” District 303 Chief Communications Officer Scott Harvey said in response to the door hangers. “We have no response at this time to election information that may be distributed locally.”
Library officials said they are aware of the door hangers.
“The flyer was distributed by a third-party group that is not affiliated with the library,” library officials said in a statement.
The door hangers also list resources for people, naming such groups as Gays Against Groomers and MassResistance. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed MassResistance as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.
MassResistance founder Brian Camenker refuted that characterization.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far-left attack organization that has been discredited across the political spectrum,” he said in an email. “They label hundreds of conservative groups as ‘hate groups.’ ‘’
A St. Charles School District 303 committee is currently reviewing the findings of an equity audit that was done to better understand where inequities exist in the district. Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, each school district in Illinois is responsible for publicly posting its progress toward equity on its school report card using an Illinois State Board of Education developed continuum.
One of the recommendations in the audit is for the professional development of all staff to increase understanding of cultures, language, racial sensitivity, social/emotional needs, mental wellness and gender identification.
Another recommendation is for the district to hire and maintain staff that is more diverse in terms of ethnicity, race and gender. In June 2021, board members unanimously voted to pause Deep Equity training until an equity audit was completed.
In March 2021, board members voted 4-3 to use Deep Equity – a professional development program from the California-based Corwin Company – to provide professional learning to staff on diversity, equity and inclusion.
That decision followed three hours of comments from both proponents and opponents of the Deep Equity program. School board members also decided that the district, using different materials, would continue the training after completing an equity audit.
In December 2021, board members unanimously voted to hire Chicago-based nonprofit group Consortium for Educational Change – now known as Catalyst for Educational Change – at a cost of $44,850. Staff had recommended hiring the company to do the equity audit.