CRT in IW Schools?
Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
There seems to be an irresolvable disagreement as to whether Critical Race Theory is being taught in Isle of Wight County Schools. Since the two opposing groups, those opposed to CRT and those defending the county schools, seem to be using completely different definitions for what Critical Race Theory is, I’m not surprised that they can’t seem to agree on whether it exists here.
Is CRT “an academic concept that race is a social construct and that racism is embedded in legal systems and policies” being taught in IW County Schools? Of course not.
However, is CRT, “anything that might make someone feel bad,” being taught? Well, since avoiding anything that might make children question why people with darker skin tones have historically been mistreated would require removing history, government and current events from the school curriculum, it probably is.
After all, one doesn’t need to research too deeply into history to find a multitude of examples of horrific treatment. So we’d better teach history without mentioning slavery, Dred Scott, Frederick Douglass, the Civil War, Reconstruction, “separate but equal,” Loving vs. Virginia, or making any mention of the Civil Rights Movement. After all, that might make a child ask WHY so many people had to fight so hard for so long for the legal right to be treated as equally human.
For government, the U.S. Constitution helpfully allows “other Persons” (slaves) to be counted at equal to three-fifths of a person for determining each state’s allotments of representatives in Congress. That might make a child ask some questions; better not teach the Constitution. Current events? Well, an inquisitive child might be curious as to why national statistics show that Black Americans are incarcerated at nearly five times the rate of white Americans. Or why the typical white family has eight times the wealth of the typical Black family and five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family. Or, for that matter, why so many people get so angry when any of the above items are mentioned.
So, is Critical Race Theory being taught in schools? Maybe, depending on how you label it. But I don’t think we can reasonably educate children without teaching them history, government or current events. Will teaching those topics generate some questions that might be uncomfortable? Probably. But is avoidance of all discomfort really a principle around which to base one’s life?