COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - School District 49's Board of Education voted 3-2 on Thursday night to approve a resolution opposing Critical Race Theory curriculum. Colorado Springs affiliate station KKTV reports the resolution was revised from an outright ban of CRT to a statement opposing the principles of the theory.
Board President John Graham voted in favor of the resolution, along with Secretary Rick Van Wieren and Director Ivy Liu. Vice President Kevin Butcher and Treasure Dave Cruson voted against the resolution.
The amended resolution states:
The Board of Education for District 49 (hereafter known as D49) asserts that the United States is a nation founded upon exceptional principles. These ideas were embodied in the Declaration of Independence which proclaimed that "all men are created equal" and "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." Human equality is the quintessential truth upon which our form of government necessarily hinges. We are an imperfect nation and have struggled from the beginning to live up to these ideals. It is our duty, as elected officials, to move always closer to these ideals and to do our part to ensure that future generations will enjoy the blessings of liberty.
D49 partners with parents to assist in their responsibility to educate their children in accordance with the principle that America is a nation founded on the principle that all men and women are created equal per the Declaration of Independence, Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution provides that we may not "deny to any person … the equal protection of the laws." The Supreme Court has asserted that this clause "is to prevent the States from purposefully discriminating between individuals on the basis of race." Multiple Supreme Court cases emphasize that racial classifications "ultimately have a destructive impact on the individual and our society." Similarly, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Right Act protects all students who attend institutions receiving federal funding from being treated differently based on their actual or perceived race, color, or national origin.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) began as an academic movement interested in transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power. It purports to grapple with a history of white supremacy and the laws and systems that grew from that past. In the arena of public education, CRT has developed themes and language to address racism and inequality such as "white privilege," "intersectionality," "microaggressions," and "equity." A related concept, "antiracism" or "fighting against racism" also has emerged. This describes an unconscious condition where in the absence of making antiracist choices, white supremacy and unequal institutions are being upheld. Antiracism assigns immutable negative characteristics to individuals solely based upon their race or ethnicity.
The driving force behind CRT and antiracism is the acceptance of a worldview that encompasses specific notions about history, philosophy, sociology, and public policy. By its own terms, CRT/antiracism excludes individuals who merely advocate for neutral principles of the Constitution, or who deny or question the extent to which white supremacy shapes our institutions.
Public Education, properly designed, includes age-appropriate exposure to events, philosophies, and structures which comprise the American experience. Clearly, this may and should include instruction of the facts and related literature regarding racism and inequality in America. However, such exposure should not purport to deliberately undermine student/family values, religious beliefs, or principles. Further, every student, regardless of status, has a unique life story. Thus, while instructors and administrators may recognize and/or believe in particular doctrines in the areas of faith, civil rights, economics, international affairs, sociology, or politics, it never should be the role of public educators to endorse or proselytize on behalf of a specific perspective in any of these areas. Certainly, CRT/antiracism or related euphemistic surrogates should not be an element of D49's curricula or teacher training.
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