More school districts refuse to teach a person’s race determines if they are guilty or innocent, more or less capable

By LIV FINNE  | 
Jul 27, 2021
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Parents across Washington state are worried teachers will soon teach their children Critical Race Theory (CRT). Parents know CRT is incorrect and hateful, and they are worried teachers will be teaching CRT ideas as truth and established fact.  Parents are raising these concerns to their school boards because in April the legislature passed SB 5044, mandating that public school staff receive training in CRT. Onlookers in the media dismiss parent concerns, saying SB 5044 does not require training of CRT content because CRT is not explicitly mentioned in the bill. These onlookers are naïve and misinformed. The words that are in the bill, “cultural competency, diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism,” are all understood to mean Critical Race Theory as applied to public education. Fortunately, a number of districts are taking steps to protect their staff and students from its harmful content.

Last month the Chehalis School District, a small district south of Olympia of eight schools and 3,000 students, heard the fears of parents, and took a principled stand. On June 15, 2021, the Chehalis school board passed a resolution saying: “We will not teach Chehalis students that people, due to their race or background are inherently good or bad, guilty or innocent, more or less capable than others.” This resolution also stated: “The central purpose and goal of the Chehalis School District is to build a sound educational foundation for each student, enabling them to become responsible citizens.”

Last week, on July 23rd , all five school board directors of the Peninsula School District voted to pass a similar resolution. The Peninsula School District is located in Gig Harbor, east of Tacoma, and it educates about 8,700 students at 20 schools. Peninsula’s resolution says:

“….2. All students, teachers and support staff are equal as individuals and no one race, gender, ethnicity or religion is superior or inferior as it relates to another, and no student, teacher or support staff member should be taught that they are an oppressor or victim based on their race…”

Peninsula also restated its mission is to educate children, and to “continue to teach a complete and accurate history that is inclusive and without bias.”

Moses Lake School District has also joined this effort. This district, located east of the Cascade Mountains, educates 8,300 students at 19 schools. Moses Lake is still deciding the final language of its resolution, but some language has already been made public. Moses Lake’s resolution asserts the district is not a political organization and does not teach students “how to think.” Students in Moses Lake will not be taught “people, due to race, background, or social class, are inherently good or bad, guilty or innocent, more or less capable than others.”

This is strong and clear language. These school district resolutions are hopeful signs.

Washingtonians do not believe schools should divide children and staff from one another on the basis of race. The leaders of Chehalis, Peninsula and Moses Lake should be commended for protecting their students and staff from Critical Race Theory, and for keeping their focus on providing their students the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in life.