Alabama State School Board Tackles Critical Race Theory – But Consensus Elusive | Education
The Alabama State Board of Education picked up the controversy over critical race theory on Tuesday, but struggled to find consensus.
Critical Race Theory emerged in the 1970s as a vision of the American legal system and its relationship to race and power. He argues that racism is ingrained in the legal system. The issue has recently become the target of conservative activists in several states who fear that a divisive ideology may creep into kindergarten up to age 12.e-study programme.
Governor Kay Ivey chaired Tuesday’s working session, stressing the symbolic importance of the issue.
“I firmly believe that our # 1 priority of the State Council is to provide a quality education for every student in public schools that leads them on the path of self-sufficiency and prosperity regardless of race or gender. “she said. “And I think no student in our public schools should expect less.”
But even before the day was over, state education superintendent Eric Mackey was already promising changes to the project based on feedback from school board members. He asked school board members to continue providing feedback until the end of the month. He said the board could vote on a revised resolution on August 12, but noted that some board members want to go slower.
“It is clear that the board wants to tackle this problem head-on, but at the same time we want to be careful not to override anyone’s rights to the First Amendment and put parents at ease.” , he told reporters. “So sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do.”
The original draft of the resolution discussed at Montgomery did not even mention critical race theory by name. Instead, it says the board will not support “public education resources or standards that indoctrinate students into social or political ideologies or theories that promote one race or gender over another.” “.
Council members were divided. Tonya Chestnut, a member of District 5, whose territory includes parts of Mobile County, objected to a passage saying the country and state are not “inherently” racist.
“I cannot in good conscience say that is true,” she said. “I want this to be true. And I believe everybody here wants it to be a true statement. But we didn’t get there. “
Mackey discussed replacing this paragraph with a statement that slavery and racism are “betrayals of the founding principles of the United States” and that no one should be discriminated against because of past actions by members of the United States. their racial group. In addition, he said he was asked about inserting First Amendment rights protection language for teachers.
But Stephanie Bell, a member of the District 3 school board, which represents the central part of the state, argued the resolution did not go far enough. She noted that it contains no consequences for violating the resolution.
“The wording needs to be drastically changed in order to have any impact at the state level and at the local level,” she said.
Jackie Zeigler, a member of the District 1 school board, which represents most of southwestern Alabama, agreed the resolution should be strengthened. She acknowledged that critical breed theory is not officially endorsed, but argued that it could still find its way into the classroom.
“You know, once something kind of starts it’s hard to stop it,” she told FOX10 News. “Better to be proactive than, you know, in the back of something. “
Robert Battles, a former member of the Mobile County School Board, told FOX10 News he was concerned the resolution served as an excuse to ignore uncomfortable parts of American history.
“They talk about the fact that teachers don’t indoctrinate students into an ideology,” he said. “What the hell did they think of us, like black people throughout this school system?” “
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