Volume No. 18 Issue No. 9 September 2021  

  CRT in D 49 defeated

     At their Aug. 12 meeting, the El Paso County Colorado School District 49 Board of Education passed a resolution banning Critical Race Theory from being taught in the district.
   All members of the board, chief education officers and the public were allowed time to speak before the vote.
   Deb Schmidt, grandmother of D 49 students, said, “The D 49 curriculum should not be steered by the narrative of a one-sided social justice movement. We support our grandchildren learning a complete history, which includes the ugliness of slavery in the south, the corrupt politicians who held that status quo in place and the heroes who fought against slavery and Jim Crow.”
   “We should be able to teach the facts of what happened in history,” said parent Jeff Brown. “This school district teaches what happened for instance in the holocaust, and if we have no issues talking about what the Germans did to the Jews, why do we have a problem teaching U.S. history. I’m D 49 proud; if people don’t want to learn the truth about history, let them move to another district.”
   “I’m not going to vote for this to pass because I believe I need to leave a footnote on this decision,” said Kevin Butcher, board vice president. “We as the board failed to follow our own policy; we were dismissive of a group that we formed (Leadership Advisory Council) to review these issues, and we undermined the process. If we expect everyone else to follow the rules that we make, we should have the dignity to follow them also.”
   Peter Hilts, chief education officer, said, “I am recommending the board approve this resolution. It was intentionally focused on the specific principles that violate our community’s standards and expectations. I think our kids are counting on us to be culturally respectful in our instruction, and one of the ways we can be culturally respectful is to try to understand their experiences and to listen carefully to them. I’m heartened tonight that we have heard strong community consensus to teach what I will call ‘raw’ history, but may we also teach ‘raw’ current events.”
   John Graham, president, called for a vote; Rick Van Wieren, secretary, motioned to pass the resolution, Dave Cruson, treasurer, seconded the motion.
    • Final resolution: motion carried
    • Yea: John Graham, Ivy Liu, Rick Van Wieren
    • Nay: Kevin Butcher, Dave Cruson
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