The Critical Race Theory Banned by Cherokee County Schools

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA – The Cherokee School Board voted Thursday to pass a resolution banning the implementation of Critical Race Theory and banning the use of the Project 1619 curriculum.

The resolution was proposed by school board members in response to misinformation circulating in the community that the district was planning to implement these concepts and this program, which the district did not and did not do. was never planned to do so, Cherokee Schools said in a statement.

Superintendent Brian Hightower said this decision does not mean that teachers do not have the right to teach students about race and its role in our history and current events, as these lessons are part of the standards of excellence of Georgia performance, which is being tracked in schools in Cherokee County. Teachers in Cherokee County will continue to have access to approved educational resources to help them continue to provide objective education, the district said.

Hightower made remarks at the meeting, saying that for over 30 years he worked for the district. He started my career as a social studies teacher and for the past five years has served as a district superintendent.

“In order to highlight the remarkable achievements and successes of our school district while setting a standard for moving forward, one of my first acts as Superintendent was to launch a campaign to promote the brand that ultimately relied on the Blue Ribbon of Excellence as a focal point, ”said Hightower. “I also set out to respond to what I saw as a two-pronged accusation on the part of our school board: raising the bar for excellence and success as an educational institution and, with around 4800 employees, also to be recognized as the best employer, basically run a great school system while simultaneously running a large company. “

Today, Hightower said the school board, which consists of seven school board members, whom the community has re-elected, continues to focus on this point.

“When I think of the opportunities created by the fact that each serving school board member has been elected for multiple terms, it speaks of consistency, continuity and trust,” Hightower said. “Our board’s long-term strategic planning with a focus on areas such as strong budget oversight and prudent budgeting, exemplary building campaigns, standards-based programs and cutting-edge technology , enhanced safety and security measures, accessible platforms for communication and digital learning, and essential student support services, their leadership has been instrumental in our success. “

Hightower said the district continues to fight disinformation.

“This is a problem that some people in our country are currently facing who intend to divide communities by sowing seeds of discord and mistrust,” he said. “I stress again that neither I nor your school board have any intention of implementing Critical Race Theory and Project 1619. We do not intend to implement any of theirs. concepts or teaching based on race under this name or another name. We are not playing with semantics. We are honest.

“While I initially maintained and spoke publicly about developing a stand-alone Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness (DCI) plan, I recognize that our intentions have become largely misunderstood within the community and have created divisions. To this end, I have concluded that there will be no separate DCI plan. The staff and I, however, are committed to continuing the great work that has been done on our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) initiative, which we started two years ago as Depression and Emotional Rate. Self-harm and suicide has increased at alarming rates across the country, and has been highlighted in Cherokee among our students. “

In the district, SEL stands for “ensuring that all children, regardless of their differences, feel welcomed and valued and that their emotional and mental health needs are recognized and met.” But that has nothing to do with race-based education, ”said Hightower.

He went on to say that he captures the concept of diversity, including that enrollment in Cherokee schools now includes students from all states and 108 other countries, and over 40 different languages ​​represented and spoken. He also said it included inclusion and equity.

“While the use of the term ‘fairness’ has recently been the subject of much debate and scrutiny across the country, our commitment remains, no matter what terminology we might use to future, to maintain high standards for our students while continuing to seek additional resources. so that all unequal needs receive additional assistance, ”said Hightower. “Again, with respect to CRT’s concerns, listen to me clearly in that we will not seek or receive federal funds to implement CRT under this or any other name.

“Particularly in the consideration by Council this evening of a resolution banning the CRT and Project 1619, as part of our social studies and history classes, our students will continue to learn all that makes our greatest nation in the world, from the Declaration of Independence to the US Constitution, and the sacrifices that led to our country’s freedoms to the ongoing sacrifices that preserve those freedoms.

“Our students will not be told that they are responsible for terrible times in our history, or that they are oppressors because of the color of their skin, or that they are racist because of the color of their skin, or that they have to do it. give up their rights in order to give opportunities to others. Our children will not learn that their differences define them. “

Hightower said he thinks we have more in common than differences.

“I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated,” he said. “However, I also think it is wrong to say that there is no racism in our community – from racial harassment complaints made by our students to life stories shared with me by our staff and parents. We must fight racism together. We are stronger together and we are better together. “

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