ALOHA, Ore. – Students at a suburban high school were asked to take a survey on white privilege and it’s angering some on social media.
Seniors in an Aloha High School Literature Composition class filled out the survey, which asked whether statements were true because of their race or color.
Questions included “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group” and “I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed,” and students were asked to rate them on a scale of how true they were.
Beaverton School District spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler said the class covers areas including race, class, sexuality and religion, and the goal of the class is for students to “gain empathy, understanding and to build bridges.”
“The survey is just one activity that engages students in exploring this area,” Wheeler said.
The survey was written in 1989 by researcher Peggy McIntosh, who is the associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women. It was based on her essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” and is commonly taught on college campuses.
Aloha is in unincorporated Washington County and is 79 percent white, according to a 2000 census. The high school is 47 percent white and 34 percent Hispanic, according to the district.