Critical Theory – Radical Philosophy Fri, 11 Jun 2021 06:18:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Critical Theory – Radical Philosophy 32 32 Alabama State Board of Education: Keep Critical Race Theory Out of the Classroom Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:00:09 +0000

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A topic that erupted across the country unexpectedly came to Alabama, where leaders quietly discussed how to approach teaching race and racism in public schools K-12. .

In a working session Thursday, members of the Alabama State Board of Education discussed a potential resolution declaring the “preservation of intellectual freedom” in Alabama public schools and criticized the concept of Critical Race Theory, an academic framework for over 40 years that describes racism as not simply the product of prejudice or individual prejudice, but also as a social construct embedded in American society.

According to Chalkbeat, 21 states this year have considered legislation and policy to restrict discussions of racism and prejudice in the classroom – but Alabama was not yet one of them.

Tell the Alabama Education Lab how you think race and racism should be covered in schools.

State Superintendent Eric Mackey said he met with Gov. Kay Ivey, who is running for reelection in 2022, on Wednesday about fears critical race theory will be taught in Alabama schools. Mackey said he heard every member of the board ask him if Alabama should take a stand in the national debate.

“We want to make a clear statement about what we believe,” Mackey told board members. “At the same time, we want to be careful that we don’t end up in a place where we end up in a First Amendment lawsuit if a teacher is having a debate and has two sides of an issue or something like that.”

The first resolution presented to the board was a copy of the Georgia Board of Education anti-CRT resolution, approved last week.

The second draft, which Mackey said he worked with Ivey’s education policy adviser to draft, includes the following statement: “The Alabama State Board of Education believes that the United States of America is not a inherently racist county, and that the state of Alabama is not an inherently racist state.

Another section of the draft resolution states “that no individual, by reason of race or gender, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously”.

The resolution would also ban the teaching of “concepts that attribute fault, blame, a tendency to oppress others, or the need to feel guilt or anguish towards people solely because of their race or gender. In public schools.

It was not included in the agenda previously published by the Board nor in the agenda made available during the working session.

It is not known whether the resolution prohibits or otherwise restricts everything teachers currently teach.

Read more: Attorney General Steve Marshall criticizes federal guidelines promoting Project 1619

Board member Tracie West said she heard from constituents in her district, which covers parts of eastern and southern Alabama, who are concerned about the critical race theory taught in the Alabama schools. She and Board member Stephanie Bell said those who contacted her worried about the critical race theory dividing children against each other.

Critical Race Theory is not mentioned as a term in Alabama’s current social studies curriculum, and board members did not describe specific schools or lessons with which they could. challenge, other than a theoretical use of Project 1619 in classrooms. The project was a groundbreaking effort by journalists and historians from The New York Times to describe the impacts of racism and slavery in America since the year African slaves arrived on the continent.

Board member Wayne Reynolds said he viewed the proposed resolutions as a “declaration of equality.”

“I try not to offend anyone, but I don’t agree that [critical race theory] should belong to kindergarten to grade 12 classes, ”West told

Board member Tonya Chestnut said she was in favor of a delay in passing the resolution, and Reynolds agreed, saying he wanted the process to be “deliberate” to make sure the board is clear on what it means.

No member of the Board of Directors spoke out against the proposed resolutions.

Mike Tafelski, senior supervising attorney for the child rights practice group at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, said the organization stood with educators who “are committed to their obligation to teach the truth. In Alabama classrooms.

“Today’s announcement by the Alabama State Board of Education is an obvious whistle for a racist movement heavily influenced by highly organized conservative groups to intimidate educators and prevent them from teaching lessons about history of the breed in our country, ”he said.

Alabama educators have participated in discussions about racism and cultural sensitivity over the past year – but quietly.

After the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis cop in 2020, former State Board of Education member Tommie Stewart asked what the state could do to help teachers dismantle racism and fight against persistent disorders.

“I bet in every school there is someone who could chair a committee for the school and help with sensitivity training and character development,” Stewart told at the time.

“We are, as educators, another arm, embracing children in the developmental family,” she said.

State representatives, in partnership with the AEA, have developed training sessions for around 700 educators. A new group of programs will be offered this summer, said a State Department official, focused on embracing diversity and improving teachers’ sensitivity to multiple cultures in the classroom.

The new debate over critical race theory comes at a time when state efforts to curtail teaching about racism and prejudice have mushroomed across the country. Some states, such as Arkansas, have sought to ban funds from districts that taught Project 1619. In others, lawmakers and heads of state, including Brian Kemp of Georgia, drafted laws and drafted letters opposing the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.

The Florida Board of Education banned the topic Thursday, following a push by Governor Ron DeSantis, who said he was denigrating the Founding Fathers and teaching children to “hate their country.”

With Alabama’s social studies curriculum currently under review, Mackey told board members that about 20 groups have asked to submit their comments on the new social studies standards. Those groups – ranging from representatives of the Creek Nation to the Alabama Historical Commission – submitted 10-minute videos to the committee, he said.

“I want to make it clear,” Mackey told board members, “that none of these are associated with Project 1619 or CRT.”

Board member Stephanie Bell said she wanted the resolution in place before the start of the next school year.

“It would tell locals at the start of the school year that this is something to watch out for,” she said.

Mackey asked board members for their views on a final resolution. The earliest possible vote would take place at the August 12 board meeting.

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Critical Race Theory Discussed at Baker County Meeting with State Education Officials Thu, 10 Jun 2021 11:04:28 +0000

MACCLENNY, Florida – The burning issue of critical race theory was a topic of discussion on Wednesday when the Florida Department of Education leadership held a public forum in Baker County.

The forum at Macclenny Elementary School was the third and final public forum on the recently revised plans for Florida student academic standards in several areas, including civic and government education, Holocaust education, and education. character.

The discussion precedes a Florida Board of Education meeting Thursday in Jacksonville. During the meeting at Florida State College in Jacksonville, the board is expected to approve a rule change that will ban the teaching of critical breed theory in Florida K-12 public schools.

AFTER: Residents of St. Johns County speak out against critical breed theory. The neighborhood doesn’t teach it

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Critical Race Theory examines how racism has led to laws and other policies that continue to negatively affect communities of color in America.

“A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas considered to be of low financial risk, often explicitly because of the racial makeup of the inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to blacks in these areas, ”Education Week wrote. “Today, these same patterns of discrimination persist through policies that do not take into account race, such as single-family zoning which prevents the construction of affordable housing in favored neighborhoods with a majority white and, thus, hinders the efforts of racial desegregation. “

Many people who spoke during the public commentary at the meeting at Macclenny Elementary felt the theory should be included.

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“I hope we don’t just talk about slavery in our public schools, when it’s the only black struggle we talk about, it makes people think that black suffering ceased in the 19th century – I thinks it’s important that we talk about the systems that were in place after slavery was abolished, ”one person said.

“Just because some people want it to go away doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be talking about it or discussing it. So what happens to teachers who want to do this? another person said.

Critical race theory has become a recent target for Republicans, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump.

RELATED: DeSantis Tackles ‘Critical Race Theory’ in Aim to Overhaul Florida’s Civics Curriculum

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During a segment last weekend on Fox News, DeSantis discussed the upcoming Jacksonville Board of Education vote and plans to ban critical race theory in schools.

“Next week I have my education commissioner [Richard Corcoran] go to our school board, ban it, ban any deviation from the exact story and follow our standards, ”DeSantis told host Dan Bongino. “It’s something we have to stay at the forefront of. Nor are we, Dan, going to support a Republican school board candidate who supports critical race theory in 67 counties or who supports mandatory masking of schoolchildren. And so, like you said, these local elections are important, we’re going to involve the political apparatus of Florida so that we can make sure that there isn’t a single Republican school board that is indulging in a theory. criticism of the breed.

DeSantis called the curriculum a division.

Critics of the push to ban critical race theory from Florida schools said it was an attempt to whitewash history and limit discussion of how race affects society.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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Governor and school board twist critical race theory on political grounds Wed, 09 Jun 2021 17:46:53 +0000

By Otha Thornton and Candice Thornton

Governor Brian Kemp and the State Board of Education once again put the privilege exposed for our nation and the world to witness. Kemp’s public statements on Critical Race Theory and a subsequent board resolution passed last week illustrate the insidiously pervasive impact of systemic racism.

In approving a resolution that the state and country are not racist and that there should be limits to class discussions about race and controversial events, the State Council followed Kemp’s lead and manipulated education and history for political gain and basically told children of color in Georgia that their experiences are neither valid nor important.

The resolution states that “… concepts which attribute fault, blame, a tendency to oppress others, or the need to feel guilt or anguish towards people solely because of their race or gender violate the premises of individual rights, equality of opportunity and merit that underpins our constitutional republic, and therefore have no place in the training of teachers, administrators or other employees of the public education system of the State of Georgia.

By enlisting in the Republican campaign to distort and turn critical race theory into a wedge issue, Kemp and the State Board of Education are supporting false and inaccurate historical narratives that lack nuance and accountability, while penalizing them. individuals and institutions seeking to educate and treat appropriately. systemic infrastructures and practices of racism.

Rather than denouncing the CRT and censoring conversations about race, gender and class, we suggest that Georgians familiarize themselves with the studies of the late Dr Derrick Bell, Dr Kimberlé Crenshaw, Mari Matsuda, Charles Lawrence, Angela Harris and Patricia Williams.

Additionally, we encourage Georgians to advocate for a fair curriculum that objectively contextualizes the complex history of the United States. By identifying existing gaps in the curriculum and integrating Critical Race Theory into Georgia schools, our students will be able to identify innovative solutions to national and global problems.

Candice thornton

Candice thornton

Credit: SabbathFILMS

Credit: SabbathFILMS

In a statement, board chairman Scott Sweeney said the board had passed “a resolution saying it would work to prevent the promotion of any divisive ideology based on race or gender from being incorporated into the standards. Kindergarten to Grade 12 Public Education in Georgia “. Kemp applauded the members for “making it clear that this dangerous anti-American ideology has no place in Georgia classrooms.”

Sweeney and Kemp mistakenly claim that the fight against systemic racism is divisive and anti-American. Rather than acknowledging the infrastructures and systems that contribute to racism, Kemp and the board have instead chosen to suppress the legacy and lived experiences of US citizens from BIPOC.

As a nation, we must recognize that racialized race and caste systems have existed since the arrival of the first settlers and continue to exist, in part thanks to legislation, education and propaganda.

As Crenshaw explains: “CRT is not a noun, but a verb… CRT recognizes that racism is not a relic of the past. Instead, it recognizes that the legacy of slavery, segregation and the imposition of second-class citizenship on black Americans and other people of color continues to permeate the social fabric of this nation. . “

As we educate our children in Georgia, it is imperative to understand and affirm the intersections of each child’s identity, culture, and exposure to the world and what it has to offer. Rather than meeting the educational needs of our children, this resolution illustrates the strategic evil that politicians and their respective parties are using to gain support for the 2022 electoral cycle.

As two-generation black Americans, we can attest to the white perspective imposed on history and the many omissions of anything that contradicts this benevolent view. Many of us have learned that Columbus found America, as if an existing place with indigenous peoples could be discovered. We have not been made aware of the harm that Columbus and other explorers caused with the support of the Imperial nations. We haven’t been taught about the 1906 Atlanta Race Riots or the Tulsa Race Massacre. We were not told about Seneca Village, a colony of blacks and natives who built their colony on the land of the Lenape people and were forcibly evicted to build Central Park in New York City.

We have not been taught the contributions of African countries to the world before colonization. Until we attended the HBCUs, we had never read such books as “The African Origin of Civilization”, “They Came Before Columbus” and “The Destruction of Black Civilization”. The Civil War was presented to students as the Northern War of Aggression. Even in 2021, schools do not explain the economic impact of movable slavery in relation to the civil war.

Our Georgian and American history has been written over the past 400 years with the intention of glorifying one race over all others. This supremacy remains very much alive in the Georgian education system.

While diversity, equity, and inclusion are priorities in most American organizations and workplaces, this resolution is the antithesis of those ideals. Diversity is about recognizing and celebrating differences, fairness is about examining how those differences contribute to the ability to access and resources, and inclusion ensures that everyone is welcome in the space. Critical Race Theory, therefore, does not divide, but is an integral part of the culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within the classroom and beyond.

By identifying existing gaps in the curriculum and integrating Critical Race Theory into Georgia schools, our students will be able to identify innovative solutions to national and global problems. Our children need to be aware of the nuances that inform national law and their lives. If the state is allowed to censor student programs and prospects, Georgia will remain in the bottom half of our nation’s states in education rankings.

Unlike the State Board of Education, we unequivocally state that Critical Race Theory is valid and useful in enabling our children and future generations to identify injustice and envision diverse, equitable and inclusive solutions. Georgians must prioritize the education of our children and cultivate more diversity, equity and inclusion by supporting critical race theory in public schools.

This guest column was co-authored by Otha Thornton and Candice Thornton.

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Center for the American Experiment Presenters Criticize Use of Critical Race Theory in Minnesota Schools Wed, 09 Jun 2021 03:00:33 +0000

The Center for the American Experiment held a conference Tuesday afternoon in Rochester as part of a tour of the state. Dubbed the “Raise Our Standards Tour,” several speakers gave presentations throughout the event, highlighting the ways they say the education system is doing young people a disservice.

ALSO READ: From Different Places and in Different Directions, Rochester Area Seniors Prepare for Graduation

Kendall Qualls, who recently ran for the third Minnesota Congressional seat, shared his personal story of growing from a family of modest means to a successful career in the military and the private sector. He spoke of the pervasive problem that a large percentage of children are born into single parent or broken homes within the black community.

“Let’s make sure we diagnose the right issues,” Qualls said. “It’s not a racial disparity issue. It’s a family breakdown issue.”

Center of the American Experiment Policy Fellow Catrin Wigfall speaks during a stop at Rochester Golf and Country Club as part of the Center of the American Experiment's "Raise our standards" touring Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Rochester.  The purpose of the tour is to "counter the “awakened” political movement that is invading public schools in Minnesota," according to a press release.  The tour stops in 17 cities in Minnesota.  (Joe Ahlquist /

Center of the American Experiment Policy Researcher Catrin Wigfall speaks during a stop at Rochester Golf and Country Club as part of the Center of the American Experiment’s “Raise Our Standards” tour on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 , in Rochester. The goal of the tour is to “counter the ‘awakened’ political movement that is invading public schools in Minnesota,” according to a press release. The tour stops in 17 cities in Minnesota. (Joe Ahlquist /

Catrin Wigfall, American Experiment Policy Fellow, explained how “Critical Race Theory” is being introduced into Minnesota school systems. She said that although the CRT is dressed in appealing terms like “inclusion” and “diversity”, it is truly an extension of Marxism.

“We have seen that the word ‘fairness’ is easily confused with the American principle of ‘equality’,” she said. “The two are very different. Equality is about equal opportunity. Fairness, on the other hand, is about ensuring equal results, and that only comes when you gerrymand a system to favor one group over another, which basically discriminates. ”

Wigfall said critical race theory also serves to distract from core educational areas, especially for students of color that the CRT is supposed to help. Black and Hispanic students in Mississippi outperform black and Hispanic students in Minnesota in math and reading, according to Wigfall.

Republican State Senator Carla Nelson spoke briefly at the end of the meeting, pointing out that many decision-makers are at the local level. Nelson is the former chair of the Senate Education Committee.

“The school board is critically important,” she said. “The state of Minnesota doesn’t set the curriculum. And that’s a good thing. You don’t want the state to do that. But it shows the importance of these locally elected school boards.”

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Opinion: Should critical race theory be banned? | Guest column Tue, 08 Jun 2021 07:30:00 +0000

Should governments ban thoughts? Usually no. But the rare exceptions are spurious thoughts, ideas that commit fraud or deceive. “Try some meth, you’ll love it,” is a thought we criminalize, for good reason. So what lie justifies the Idaho legislature banning critical race theory?

Trent clark

Certainly, it’s not that race has played no role in American history. To their credit, proponents of “theory” document well how racial divisions have influenced everything from housing to transportation, from healthcare to criminal justice. Not thinking critically about race means that an entire generation can repeat the mistakes of the past, ignoring how prejudice and racism have shaped the modern world as it is today.

Unfortunately, the phrase “critical race theory” is not just a critical reflection on race. The concept is much less vague than the Democrats in Idaho claim. From a Pulitzer Prize-winning essay in the New York Times Magazine (The 1619 Project) to leading non-fiction works like “How to be an Anti-Racist” and “White Fragility,” the central idea of the critical theory of race is less to explain. the impact of race on past decisions, and more to make no doubt that race will dictate the future. In doing so, the theory offers only one solution: a radical systemic change in the way America makes decisions, in the way resources are allocated to who can speak on a given issue.

University professors who teach critical race theory passionately argue that it is not Marxism. But we are not forbidding teaching our children what Marxism is, so this statement does not shed much light. And the professors are right, the 1619 Project and the Communist Manifesto are not the same: they identify very different motivations and causes of inequity in society. Where they agree is how to ask uncritically why inequalities exist. Both theories state that, if there is any inequity, the author’s preferred cause must be assumed. In Marx’s case, it is capitalist greed. In Project 1619, it must be racial fanaticism.

And there lie thousands of lies piecemeal. America was founded on the realization that the end does not justify the means, that individuals and the motivations in their hearts matter. Idaho law now states that “no distinction or classification of students is to be made on the basis of race or color,” and it tells you all that this language is what actually prohibits the teaching of critical race theory.

Certainly, that there should be no distinction or classification based on race is and always has been an ambitious truth. That said, the legislature’s most valid criticism is not what they wrote in law this year, is that it was not written in territorial law or in the hearts of all Idahoans. 150 years ago.

Trent Clark is Chairman of Customalting LLC and former Chairman of the Republican Party of Idaho. He is currently a life member of the Republican National Committee and served as vice chairman of the Idaho Humanities Council.

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The privilege of pushing against progress Mon, 07 Jun 2021 15:48:27 +0000

When I returned to my hometown of Fort. Thomas, I promised my Hispanic husband that it was more progressive and more diverse than when I was young. I also sold him the fact that it was one of the best school districts in the state. But, as I attended a community meeting in the auditorium of our local high school and listened to my fellow community members make public statements on a proposed elective course on social equity, I was apprehensive. to be wrong.

Many of the comments on the microphone were in favor of teaching social equity. Some shared a personal story to illustrate why it was important to them. But those who spoke out against the course have each hammered the same soundbite that has echoed across the country as states seek to ban critical race theory from public education.

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Georgia Board of Education Passes Resolution to Block Critical Race Theory Sun, 06 Jun 2021 15:03:06 +0000

“It’s ridiculous!” Alfred “Shivy” Brooks, a teacher, talks about the state’s decision to limit critical teachings of racial theory in classrooms

The Georgia State Board of Education on Thursday passed a resolution against teaching critical race theory in classrooms.

This decision arouses both condemnation and support from Georgians.

Governor of Georgia Brian kemp welcomed the 11-2 vote by the white majority council, which is filled with governor appointees. With the resolution, the council opposes teaching the concept to K-12 grades across the state, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia, as seen on August 10, 2020 (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images)

“I applaud the members of the State Board of Education for making it clear that this dangerous anti-American ideology has no place in Georgia classrooms,” Kemp said in the statement. “With their vote today, members of the state school board ensured that education in Peach State reflects the freedom, equality and God-given potential of every individual.”

This comes shortly after Kemp wrote a letter to the Education Council urging them to take action.

However, concerned community members believe this resolution will not reflect equality.

A Twitter user and history teacher, Sharon sample, expressed his disappointment on the social media site, saying, “If the story makes you uncomfortable, as it should in many cases, it should inspire change, NOT denial or erasure.

Grassroots organizations across Georgia are taking action and denouncing the decision to limit what educators can teach about history and its implications in schools. Some of these organizations include Voice of The People and CivicGeorgia, among many others.

Georgia teachers love Alfred “Shivy” Brooks facilitated dialogues around critical race theory and Georgia’s efforts to ban conversations about race.

“So you all want to tell me that a calendar year after you’ve done all this listening and learning, what you’ve listened to and learned and realized you have to do is what: start implementing policies to stop to talk about race, racism and oppression? Brooks said on his Instagram live. “It’s ridiculous, it’s absolutely ridiculous!”

CivicGeorgia organizers have created a petition calling on the state’s education council to immediately reverse their “unacceptable” decision.

The petition reads, in part, “Teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) and recognizing racial trauma past and present in American society, especially given the role of our state, are necessary to educate, understand and address the main societal and systemic challenges facing black people. , Indigenous communities and people of color, and healing intergenerational trauma.

Kevin Shanker Sinha, a community organizer and founder of CivicGeorgia, criticized the actions of the Georgia State Board of Education, comparing them to tactics to suppress voters from the Georgia state legislature.

“Much like with Georgia’s voter suppression bill earlier this year, we are heartbroken that once again the voices and stories of BIPOC are being silenced and rewritten by elected state officials. and appointed, ”Sinha said. leGrio. “With this petition, we demand that the Georgia State Board of Education rescind this unacceptable resolution, and we call on them to focus the impacted and informed voices – i.e. families, parents and students of color, as well as educational experts and practitioners in race theory criticism – to determine what is taught in our schools.

The petition is widely shared and people across the country are speaking out against Georgian officials who seek to “whitewash” history.

“I am signing this petition because children need a safe place to talk about racism, inequality and the privileged white people,” commented one person under the petition. “Children do NOT need to be protected from these subjects. We want our children to have resources that their parents did not have to create communities without inequality and without white privilege. We cannot remove these threads !!

Meanwhile, Conservative officials and Georgians across the state continue to express support for the new resolution.

“Today, the State Board of Education took action regarding critical race theory in Georgia public schools,” the state school superintendent said. Richard woods said in a statement from the governor’s office. “My commitment is to continue to unite communities, families and educators by ensuring that every child, regardless of their zip code, will receive an excellent education and will have the ability to access and obtain opportunities to accomplish whatever. “

President of the State Board of Education Scott sweeney stressed that they will work to prevent the promotion of any divisive ideology based on race or gender, the statement said.

“As a state council, we will continue to focus on educating students rather than indoctrination of students,” Sweeney said in the statement. “All teachers, administrators, other employees and students involved in education in Georgia should systematically be treated as individuals with equal and inalienable rights, regardless of race or gender. We will work together in our unwavering commitment to put Georgian students first.

the Atlanta Journal-Constitution defines critical race theory as “an academic concept based on the idea that racism is a social construct that is embedded in all aspects of our lives, including legal systems and politics”.

Other states across the country, including Texas, are also taking action to ban the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

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Cairn University Ends Social Work Program – NBC10 Philadelphia Sun, 06 Jun 2021 01:57:40 +0000

A small Christian college outside of Philadelphia has shut down its popular social work program in part because school officials say the accrediting agency was trying to impose sexuality and gender values ​​that don’t match to the religious mission of the university.

According to these officials, the decision of the Cairn University board of trustees on May 24 had been under consideration for nearly a year due to funding and enrollment issues. They say the language of accreditation was only one factor.

But representatives from the accreditation body – the Council on Social Work Education – said its language on sexuality and gender had not changed substantially in a recent accreditation project, although the language dealing with race and inclusion has been updated. Council leaders said in a written statement they feared Cairn officials had misinterpreted the language or based the shutdown decision on a growing wave of conservative voices opposed to the teaching of theories reframing the history of race and racism.

The group’s response challenged statements by Cairn President Todd Williams, alleging that the council was attempting to force the programs to teach “a set of critical theories and assumptions and values ​​of intersectionality inconsistent with our biblical view of the world. ‘humanity, human nature and the world’.

Cairn’s mission is to “educate students to serve Christ in church, society, and the world as biblically-minded, well-educated, and professionally competent men and women of character,” according to its website. (40 kilometers) northeast of Philadelphia, has approximately 1,500 students.

The Council called Williams’ statements about the language “bogus” and noted that the project underscored the importance of fairness and inclusion in shaping someone’s identity.

Williams rejected the idea that the shutdown was based on race guidelines, saying racism and discrimination are at odds with his faith and that of the big university.

“It’s unfortunate it was presented that way because that’s absolutely not who we are,” said Williams.

“We identify ourselves as an evangelical institution and we have standards of conduct based on our beliefs. It is part of our understanding of our own faith but also of religious freedom. We don’t think it’s fair to engage or get involved in anything hateful or hurtful towards this (LGBTQ) community, or any discrimination. But we are a religious institution, ”he said.

Williams’ initial letter to students indicated that he believed previous versions of the guidelines had exceptions allowing exceptions when a university’s religious mission did not match the document.

CSWE officials said there had never been an exception in its ethical guidelines. But they allow universities to supplement the requirements with an additional degree program.

Cairn students and alumni who spoke to The Associated Press said they felt blinded by the decision. The university had acted quickly, even removing the school of social work website, they said.

The closure allows for “teaching” of currently enrolled undergraduates, meaning that the roughly 50 students will complete the program with an accredited bachelor’s degree. But the recently launched master’s program was immediately shut down, leaving around two dozen students to be transferred to other universities.

Many of these students and alumni said they did not believe Williams’ statements were race related. They also said they saw no problem separating their theological beliefs about sexuality and gender from the call to become social workers.

“If you are a well-trained social worker, you don’t need to let your theology get in the way of your social work or help a population that you might disagree theologically,” said Lizzie Walker, graduate of the program in 2018. “I think my faith fits very well with the mission of being a social worker, of meeting people where they are.

Johanna Byrd, executive director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, condemned the shutdown, saying the university appeared to send the incorrect message that social workers cannot have or maintain their faith and do their job. job.

“There are a lot of Christian colleges that have social work programs, and this is the first one that reacted to that by saying that we are going to close our school of social work. We of course have concerns that could be part of a trend, ”Byrd said, noting a failed attempt in Texas last year to allow social workers and others to refuse to treat people. based on their religious beliefs about gender and sexuality.

“It would be really horrible if the social work profession fell victim to all this talk about critical race theory, or the misconception that you can’t be a Christian and do this job. It’s absolutely wrong,” she added.

Student Melanie Crosscombe, who still has a year to go before she graduates, said after the first closing email citing the language on sexuality, she compared the project with previous credentials and had found little difference.

“This section of the document has already existed, and it doesn’t say that you have to subscribe to these beliefs, but you have to understand them in order to be able to treat the whole person,” she said. “It means that a person who comes to you deserves to be understood and treated with human dignity and respect … it fits very well for me with the concept that people are made in the image of God and worth that someone just has to be Human. “

Crosscombe said her biggest worry is with the classes below her and that they will miss the experience that has turned so many into social workers ready to take on hard and important work.

“This is what keeps me from sleeping at night,” she says.

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GOP lawmakers want to restrict teaching of racist history in schools Sat, 05 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000

Former teacher says Florida Governor DeSantis leaves teachers incapable and unequipped to deal with racism in schools.

Former teacher says Florida Governor DeSantis leaves teachers incapable and unequipped to deal with racism in schools.

Getty Images

Teachers often receive mixed signals when it comes to discussing race in the classroom.

We are told to treat our students fairly, no matter who they are or where they come from. Yet we are given a program that emphasizes white experiences over everyone else’s.

In college, my curriculum required only one multicultural literature course. While Shakespeare’s classes were compulsory, African-American literature classes were optional. But I taught in South Florida, where 86 percent of the students in my school were not white, three-quarters were from low-income households. Many did not speak English as their mother tongue.

Nowhere in my training to be a high school English teacher have I had the tools to educate my students about the role of racism in society – certainly not in a way that allowed them to make sense of the issue. world in which they currently live.

Of course, that was around 2014. Florida public schools would surely have advanced their views to align with the current awareness of social justice. Right?

Enter the current political debate on Critical Race Theory, a set of ideas examining how racism is embedded in American society and institutions. Across the country, debate has exploded in legislative space, causing a division between those who support the teaching of racism in schools and those who believe it is a divisive discourse that can transform schools. students of color versus white students.

Can you guess which side of the debate Florida Republican lawmakers are on?

In March, Governor Ron DeSantis offered $ 116 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to reshape civics education in schools or, in his words, to “remove politicization from the program.” Following in his footsteps, state education commissioner Richard Corcoran proposed a rule that would impose strict guidelines on the teaching of US history in public schools, prohibiting teachers from sharing ” their personal opinions ”or to attempt“ to indoctrinate students with a particular point of view ”.

The State Board of Education will vote on the proposal at its June 10 meeting at Florida State College in Jacksonville. Corcoran’s proposal doesn’t sound too outrageous on paper, but his public comments reveal a broader goal of eliminating educational texts and ideas that allow students to think critically about the history of the systemic marginalization of the world. America in our schools.

At a recent event ironically titled “Education is Freedom,” Corcoran told a crowd at Hillsdale College in Michigan, “you have to watch ‘teachers’ on a daily basis” to make sure things as critical race theory is not taught to students, WJCT reported.

Check teachers daily to make sure they don’t make white people look bad in their lesson plans? Don’t be surprised if English teachers spend a few extra weeks at Orwell and Bradbury next year.

In the past, DeSantis has said that “critical race theory” teaches children “to hate their country and to hate each other.”

The problem is, hate already exists in our public schools. But, this does not follow from learning about existing racial divisions. That’s not possible, many K-12 schools don’t even teach Critical Race Theory, according to PolitiFact reports.

The first step in easing tensions between our students is to educate them, early and often, about diverse racial, ethnic, cultural and linguistic perspectives – not just those that support a false notion of patriotism. But, don’t take it from me. Take it from someone who has been racially bullied throughout their school experience.

A few months after the start of the pandemic, I woke up to an Instagram message from my former students, Shay Asad, a 12-year-old student at the time, whom I was teaching in Tallahassee during my teaching internship.

“Apart from my CM1 teacher, you were the only one to have ever arrested a student for saying racism [stuff] for me, ”the post read.

With Asad’s help, the memory came running back. In a class, Asad, a Palestinian student who arrived in America at the age of 5, helped me translate a line of text I had forgotten the meaning of.

“Bismillah,” I said out loud. “Does anyone know what this means?” Asad raised his hand and translated the Arabic phrase for the class. Not two seconds later, a white student next to her joked, “You would know that, because you are a terrorist.”

My jaw dropped. Without really thinking, I discovered the kid, almost to shame him and I made him apologize on the spot.

I didn’t know it at the time, but Asad used to hear comments like that. Every September 11, whenever the Middle East made headlines, Asad and his sisters suffered because of their appearance and their background. A parent of one of his school friends once asked him to speak out against jihadism, according to Asad. You know, just to make sure she wasn’t aligned with militant Islamic terrorists. A completely normal experience for an elementary school child growing up in white America.

“It got to the point where I would come home without even telling my mom about these kinds of experiences, because she would get so excited,” Asad said. “She would go to the headmaster and demand an apology that just turned into something else to intimidate me.”

I remember this incident not to brag, but to illustrate the hatred that is already ingrained in our public schools.

“I felt so good that you said something,” Asad said. “I felt so good that you looked visibly shocked and disgusted because I can’t tell you how many times the teachers heard these things and completely ignored it because they probably agreed.”

Florida lawmakers fear that teaching students things like “white privilege” and “discrimination” will make them hate America. Sorry, Desantis, but this ship has sailed.

The way we do it now, it seems like the trust isn’t really in the system anymore, ”Asad said. “There are a lot of people who wake up and see that there is a very different version of America.”

Asad and other minority students are shown that it is okay for whites to dehumanize people of color. And white students are shown that there are no real consequences to acting on their prejudices. I asked Asad if she thought this student had learned her lesson. His honest answer, “No. ”

“You hope that at some point they look inside themselves and become a better person,” Asad said. “But, they end up having really successful careers and a very good life because the system is designed for them.”

Asad’s experience illustrates the need to teach problems from multiple perspectives, so that students can draw accurate and inclusive conclusions about the world around us.

As a former teacher, I understand how important it is to equip students with a critical mind. I understand that making certain taboo subjects to discuss in class for fear of being fired threatens any chance of creating a truly fair learning environment. What I don’t understand is why lawmakers like DeSantis and private schools like Coral Gables’ Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart are so afraid of critical race theory.

It’s almost as if they want to maintain the power structure that benefits people like them by depriving students, especially those of color, of the tools they need to think for themselves.

The debate on critical race theory should not remain abstract. Here are some concrete resources teachers can draw on to help create a culturally appropriate classroom:

Lauren Costantino is an audience engagement producer for the Miami Herald Editorial Board. She is a former Palm Beach County teacher.

Lauren is an audience engagement producer for the Miami Herald Editorial Board, where she engages readers around opinion journalism. She recently worked on THE CITY’s audience team in New York City, but has always been a true Floridian (and former Palm Beach County teacher!) At heart. Her current work focuses on building stronger relationships with Miami communities and creating new avenues to engage our readers. Do you have any ideas on how we can do this? Email him or slip into his Twitter DMs.

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Author of Texas Bill to Ban Critical Race Theory says Martin Luther King Jr. would approve of it Fri, 04 Jun 2021 19:50:58 +0000

Texas Republican State Representative Steve Toth firmly believes that a program that teaches young people about systemic racism is itself a form of racism.

Toth is the lead author of, which seeks to ban the teaching of “critical race theory,” an educational movement that seeks to contextualize recent and historical events within a framework of systemic racism, in public schools.

“This bill is a direct reflection of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” Toth told Yahoo News in a telephone interview this week. “It echoes Dr. King’s wish that we judge people on the content of their character, not on their skin.”

Toth’s Bill, which passed in both houses of the Texas Legislature and is directed to Gov. Greg Abbot’s office for signature into law, states that teachers of social studies and civics do not are not allowed to discuss the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex”, or the idea that “an individual, by virtue of race or sex, bears responsibility for acts committed in the past by other members of the same race or of the same sex ”.

High school students attend a class. (Photo credit to read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP via Getty Images)

The bill also states that teachers cannot be coerced into talking about the news, and if they do, they must “show deference to both parties.” entrenched issues surrounding the history of race and racism in the United States

“The more people learn about critical race theory, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, the more they oppose it,” said Toth, who noted that he is also a preacher that God led him. to write this bill limiting the teaching of what he called “an offshoot of critical theory and Marxism.

Yet Toth also said his bill would not prevent a discussion of critical race theory, but would prevent teachers from endorsing what he sees as his conclusions.

“We’re not saying you can’t talk about critical race theory,” he added. “We’re saying you can’t tell a kid that he should be ashamed of his skin color.”

The language of the bill reflects a national tendency among GOP officials to enact laws prohibiting the teaching of, the framework of which was in the 1970s by legal scholars such as Derrick Bell and Richard Delgado. In recent years, Critical Race Theory has become a catch-all term and a flashpoint of debate for parents, politicians, and education enthusiasts.

“The idea of ​​a culture war in education conjures up a host of long-standing, never fully resolved disputes over things like sex education, teaching evolution, the ebony, standards and curriculum history and bilingual education, ”wrote Andrew Ujifusa. in an article published last month in. “These and other issues emphasize the fundamental divisions and power imbalances (real and perceived) in society.”

High school students attend classes.  (Getty Images)

High school students attend classes. (Getty Images)

At least -,, and – have already placed limits on how race can be addressed in the classroom, and a total of 16 states seek to limit the way teachers discuss racism in school. The proposed restrictions have largely fallen along partisan lines, with Republicans opposing the teaching of critical race theory and Democrats pushing for its continued implementation.

“It is important to understand that the ban on critical race theory is not really about critical race theory, but is more broadly aimed at dismantling the voices and initiatives that advance a more equitable society”, Mary González , a Texas resident and associate director of the National Public Education Support Fund, whose work aims to make public education more equitable, told Yahoo News.

“The political pressure to push forward anti-critical race theory legislation comes from grassroots people who have been encouraged to believe in the misinformation about what critical race theory really is,” she said. declared. “On a large scale, I think we should show how the prohibition of critical race theory is bigger than a theory, but actually a danger to our public education system as a whole.”

HB 3979 also bans the teaching of The New York Times, a lengthy journalistic project written by Nikole Hannah-Jones that seeks to “reframe the history of the country by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story. our story. “

Civil rights activists are blocked by National Guards wielding bayonets while trying to stage a protest on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.  Protesters marching, carrying signs indicating

Civil rights activists are blocked by National Guards wielding bayonets while trying to stage a protest on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. The marching demonstrators, who carry signs reading “I am a man”, are also flanked by tanks. (Getty Images)

Like Critical Race Theory, Project 1619 sparked debate about how history should be taught in America. Several “factual errors in the project and the closed process behind it”.

Zakiyah Ansari, director of advocacy for the New York State Alliance for Quality Education, which fights for racial and economic justice in public schools, said Republican attempts to limit what teachers can talk about in class indicate why Critical Race Theory is needed.

“This smokescreen attack on teaching the truth about the history of racism in the United States proves why we really need a critical theory of race in our schools,” Ansari told Yahoo News. “Critical Race Theory is not about blame, it’s about acknowledging what really happened in American history.”

The debate over how, exactly, America’s racial identity should be taught divides even educators. Paul Rossi, a math teacher at Grace Church High School in New York City, denounced his school’s policy of requiring educators to submit.

“I refuse to sit idly by while my students are brainwashed,” he wrote in a scathing article published on former New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss.

“My school, like so many others, inspires students through shame and fallacy to identify primarily with their race before their individual identity is fully formed,” Rossi wrote. “Students are forced to conform their opinions to those generally associated with their race and gender and to minimize or reject individual experiences that do not fit these assumptions. “

Graduated from high school in 2018 (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images)

Graduated from high school in 2018 (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images)

Melissa Smith, an assistant professor at Oklahoma City Community College, has a different point of view. It was his summer course in race and ethnicity after the Oklahoma legislature passed, which prohibits educators from teaching K-12 students certain concepts of race and racism. Smith, who is white, taught for six years and thinks it’s important for young people to learn about racial inequalities in school.

“Our history in the United States is uncomfortable and that should make us uncomfortable and we should grow up from it,” Smith said in an interview with the. “And I say to my kids all the time, be comfortable being uncomfortable. And if I don’t make you uncomfortable in class, then I’m not doing my job.

Smith says she doesn’t teach that one class of people is superior to another, but she faces white privilege. She also points out that the course was offered in a school where students were not required to take it, but instead chose to take it. Now she says she has lost a large chunk of her income due to being withdrawn from the class.

Students pray together at a high school in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by David McNew / Getty Images)

Students pray together at a high school in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew / Getty Images)

published last month by the Washington Post, Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr., a professor at the law school at the University of Alabama and author of “The Disappearing First Amendment,” said the critical theory ban of race was unconstitutional.

“Laws that seek to ban ideas that lawmakers don’t like literally throw away the ‘veil of orthodoxy’ that these rulings denounce,” Krotoszynski Jr. wrote. “And the First Amendment certainly protects the right of a state-sponsored college or university to address issues of race, class and inequality in its curriculum. “

(Cover thumbnail: Photo Illustration: Yahoo News; Photos: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images, Scott Heins / Getty Images)


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