Speakers discuss critical race theory, lack of in-person school board meetings in Milford


MILFORD – School issues were at the forefront at the recent council of aldermen meeting.

One person, a retired high school teacher, brought up Critical Race Theory, a controversial topic in districts across the state this year, while someone asked why school board meetings are still being held. virtually rather than in person.

Walton Rollins, a retired high school teacher from Joseph, at last week’s council of aldermen meeting, claimed schools are hiding critical teachings of racial theory behind the term socio-emotional learning.

Critical Race Theory is an academic framework that examines how race and privilege are woven into American systems and institutions. The concept, which has its roots in the 1970s and 1980s, has sparked national debate, despite little evidence that it is taught as part of the curriculum in most schools across the country.

Superintendent Anna Cutaia has denied allegations the district incorporates CRT into its program, most recently with a letter to parents, staff and guardians.

“Milford Public Schools are and always have been founded on the principles of respect for all human beings, regardless of race, ethnicity, social class, religion or sexual orientation,” Cutaia said in his letter. “Part of developing respect for all people is learning more about them: historically, geographically and culturally.

“It is with this knowledge that our students will broaden their worldview and perspective, and be better prepared for their role as citizens once they leave us,” added Cutaia. “I find it appropriate to remind our community to make false statements about the teaching of critical race theory in our district.”

Rollins also spoke during public comments of a common term he finds in Milford schools – “fairness”. He said equity is the basis of all SEL core competencies and calls for all teaching and learning to be done on an equitable basis.

“What is the difference between fairness and equality,” Rollins said. “Equality in education means that we treat all children the same. Equity in education involves race-based social engineering that favors certain agreed minorities.

In her letter, Cutaia said some people claimed that Milford schools had thrown away all their history books and taught students to be ashamed or to feel guilty about their “whiteness”.

“This is categorically not true,” she said. “Our goal is and always has been to develop ‘thinkers’. As educators responsible for the well-being and intellectual and social / emotional development of all students in our care, the citizens of Milford should expect nothing less.

Another question posed at the BOA meeting was why the Milford School Board meetings were always held virtually.

In an emailed statement to Hearst Connecticut Media, Board of Education chairperson Susan Glennon said state law implemented in the spring allows boards to meet virtually until April. 2022.

“Each board of directors, through its chairman, has authority over its meetings,” said Glennon. “Our virtual meetings were broadcast live in real time on YouTube and public access channels. They were recorded along with the recordings posted on the District Council’s web page.

“We are providing members of the public with the opportunity to join our virtual meetings to make public comments,” added Glennon. “These measures meet the requirements of the law. There are other Milford school boards and school boards across the state that continue to meet virtually. We are not the only ones. “

Glennon said council contacted last summer to inquire about the use of town hall rooms for its meetings.

“They could not firmly commit to all of our meeting dates, as there could be conflicts when other city councils that have dedicated the use of the rooms also return to face-to-face meetings,” he said. she declared. “For example, the normal September aldermen’s council meeting was on Labor Day, so they met last Monday, which was also the date of the education council business meeting. . “

She added that they are continuing to review Milford’s health parameters with the health department and are in the process of developing safety protocols to return to the in-person meetings, which will be held in the Jonathan Law Auditorium.


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