It’s hard to know what’s worse — brainwashing kids or lying about it.
Parents worried their kids are being indoctrinated with critical race theory can’t get straight answers. Local school boards and principals lie to them, claiming children are merely being taught to be “critical thinkers.”
On Saturday, the truth came out. Teachers unions and activists held rallies in 22 cities to support critical race theory. What they said was eye-popping. They unabashedly declared that their goal is indoctrinating students in far-left causes.
The Zinn Education Project, which organized Saturday’s events, produces race-centric material for junior high and high schools across the country. Lesson plans are offered free for teachers to download. Parents wondering where the critical race theory their children are getting comes from can go to the website. They’ll be shocked.
Zinn was founded by the late Howard Zinn, a Marxist historian who said that teaching social studies wasn’t about dates and events. It was to make students want to change the world, overthrowing the status quo.
A Zinn lesson called “Students Design a Reparations Bill” explains that students will be asked to improve on the “flimsy” reparations bills currently in Congress. Critical thinking isn’t encouraged. This isn’t a debate about whether there should be reparations. This is one-sided indoctrination. “As racial justice activists, student are all on the ‘same side,’ in this role play,” says the Zinn website.
Other extreme left groups supplying social studies materials for schools include the Southern Poverty Law Center and Black Lives Matter at School. SPLC tells educators to stand their ground against parents “and vigorously resist efforts to maintain the status quo.” No wonder parents are getting the run around.
It’s not just white families protesting. Keisha King, a Black mother from Duval County, Florida, warned the Florida Board of Education that telling a child he’s the victim of oppression is “the essence of holding a child back.”
Michael Rivera, a Virginian, explains that he “married a wonderful woman who happens to be white. My son is white.” He objects that “according to critical race theory, my son should have white guilt and white privilege.”
More than 500 people have signed a petition demanding a curriculum that allows students to learn “without the titles of racist and victim” in Guilford, Connecticut, a small town outside of New Haven. Yet the Guilford school superintendent insists schools aren’t teaching critical race theory. Does he think parents are lying about the homework in their kids’ backpacks?
In Greenwich, Connecticut, parents went to the microphone at a May 20 school board meeting, parents to quote materials their children had brought home, including a “white bias” survey for seventh graders. The school board members and school superintendent sat silently. Last week, the superintendent sent out an email to parents explaining that Greenwich wants students to be “critical thinkers” but deftly denying that critical race theory is part of the curriculum.
That may be technically true. Critical race theory originated in law schools. But what’s being taught in elementary and secondary schools across the country is a simplified version.
Since school administrators will lie and obfuscate to push ahead with critical race theory, parents have only one choice. They have to organize and run candidates to replace the local school boards. School board elections are usually quiet, because unions and other insiders like it that way. Now’s the time for parents to grab control.
Twenty states with Republican legislative majorities are trying to ban critical race theory. They’re not calling for whitewashing American history, as some activists claim, but they require diversity of viewpoints and prohibit lessons that would shame students for their “privilege.”
Even so, state bans are not ideal. They may run afoul of the First Amendment. And it’s hard to know what’s going on in each school. That’s what local school boards are for.
Even in blue states, Republican candidates who challenge local school boards will make inroads and gain converts to the GOP. This is a winning issue.
Parents — whether Democrats or Republicans, Black or white — want their children to be educated, not indoctrinated.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.