Civil Rights seminar causing controversy at suburban school

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WINNETKA, Ill. -- School officials say they want New Trier students to learn different perspectives, but critics are saying the civil rights seminar is biased.

The website from a group called "Parents of New Trier" says the school's seminar day should be balanced or suspended because it's biased, divisive, and costly.

"Understanding Today's Struggle For Racial Civil Rights" is the theme of The All Day seminar set for February 28th.

Students at the school's Northfield and Winnetka campuses will hear from one of two National Book Award winning authorsĀ  then, they'll sit in on workshops they've chosen from on a range of topics including issues like voter suppression to Black Lives Matter, the Dakota access pipeline, gospel music, or Colin Kaepernick's National Anthem protest.

District Superintendent Linda Yonke says 30 teachers, school officials and students have been planning the seminar day since last April.

This week, she met with two parents who are concerned that conservative viewpoints were left out.

In response to the opposition, another group of parents started a website boasting more than 3500 petition signers supporting seminar day, saying they recognize these conversations may not be easy, but they are important.

The district's superintendent says she's received hundreds of supportive emails and calls.

The debate surrounding seminar day will be front and center at the next school board's on February 20th.



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