Critical race theory sparks nationwide pro-and-con protests
Parents, teachers and others rallied across the country this weekend, for and against the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools.
In Milwaukee on Saturday morning, teachers, students, school board representatives and community members protested against legislation proposed by Republican state lawmakers that would restrict “instruction on race and racism education,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
But in Loudon County, Virginia, teachers, parents and community members protested against critical race theory at a rally in the county seat in Leesburg, the Loudon Times-Mirror reported.
Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler had said that critical race theory is not taught in the district’s classrooms, the Times-Mirror said.
Lying to students?
Critical race theory, also known as CRT, focuses on a legacy of racism and discrimination throughout U.S. history that its proponents contended is institutionalized across society.
Opponents, who contend it paints all whites as racist and could harm white students, have banned it from classrooms in several states.
Supporters of teaching CRT staged a nationwide Day of Action to “Teach the Truth,” which, in Milwaukee, was hosted by Bob Peterson and Sequanna Taylor, president and vice president of the city’s school board, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“The fact that there are so many state legislatures considering legislation that will suppress the teaching of racism and sexism and even prohibit professional training in those areas was, in my mind, outrageous, and had to be publicly denounced,” Peterson told the Journal Sentinel.
In Bell County, north of Austin, Texas, educators who rallied against a state bill that would prohibit CRT told KWTX-TV that their job is to teach “accurate and honest history.”
#TeachTruth rally this morning at African American Civil War Memorial @afroamcivilwar in D.C. Educators from D.C. metro area and also from Birmingham (in yellow) and Charlottesville (father & son). And @snccdigital vets. Co-hosted by @EmpowerEdDC and @WTUTeacher. pic.twitter.com/o9aFLzgsfA
— D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice (@dcaesj) June 12, 2021
One teacher told the station that their goal is to raise awareness about the “dangers of lying to students about the existence and persistence of structural and systemic racism.”
Educators also rallied in states such as Oregon, where there are no proposals to restrict critical race theory.
“There’s a lot of confusion about whether or not what we’re doing is divisive—and we believe that systemic racism is divisive,” Portland Public Schools fifth-grade teacher David Scholten told KATU News. “Racism is divisive. And in order to heal, we need to come forward, and expose the whole truth of our nation,” Scholten said.
‘The impact of equity’
In Loudon County, opponents of critical race theory staged an “Education, Not Indoctrination” rally, Fox 5 reported.
“Our student body suffers from a myriad of issues created by the very initiatives these race problem-solvers say that they are here to fix,” Loudoun County High School teacher Monica Gill said, according to Fox 5. “For example, I am witnessing some of our students in our white population experiencing the impact of equity. They are being told to check their white privilege—or they can’t be a part of certain conversations because they are white.”