Paso Robles Joint Unified School District prohibiting the teaching of Critical Race Theory
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, California
I would like to share the story from Chris Arend, the President of The Board of Trustees ot the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.
These matters arose in our district last spring in connection with a request from students to set up an ethnic studies course. As you probably know from the news, we will have a requirement for ethnic studies in high school in California, I believe, by 2025. I have read the approximately 881 page state approved curriculum. The draft curriculum was initially full of CRT when presented in 2019 and met with lots of criticism. The authors were sent back to the drawing board, and they scrubbed the document of CRT so that the document is now vague enough that it permits an ethnic studies course based on CRT or an ethnic studies course consisting of the history of various ethnic groups and their trials and tribulations in becoming a united nation today. Our ethnic studies course is the latter model and will (1) not have any CRT, (2) will not have hindsight bias and (3) will analyze historic events in historic context. The essential difference in the two models is that the former applies "critical theory" while the latter applies "critical thinking", two very different concepts.
Our CRT resolution (attached) has four basic elements:
1. The "whereas" clauses where we pass judgment on CRT and explain our authority (I have attached our First Amendment letter sent out at the start of last school year after a couple of incidents on opening day, such as teachers with BLM banners in their video backgrounds and a kid with a trump poster in his background. The upshot is that the Board determines what the teachers do in front of the kids when they are on the clock.) I have also attached the new version issued today which was updated to reflect our resolution against CRT.
2. The numbered items which are the main premises upon which CRT is built. The cornerstone of CRT and the modern concept of "systemic racism" is a redefinition of the term "racism" to mean "power + racial prejudice". I wrote the attached article The Myth of "Systemic Racism" published in a local online newspaper CalCoast News in August of last year which shows how deceptive and flawed that definition is.
3. The lettered items which are the main teachings of CRT. I reviewed about 20 statutes in various states, and this is where they focus their operative language. I chose to expand the operative language, i.e. the prohibition, to include the main premises of CRT, in order to really "drive a stake through the heart of the beast".
4. The last paragraph enables us to teach our students about CRT so that we can "vaccinate" them against CRT before they go off to college. This is the same concept we apply when we teach about communism/fascism as opposed to teaching communism/fascism as the gospel. CRT doesn't die by hiding it. CRT will die when exposed for what it is.
I have also attached a resolution we adopted in March 2021 condemning racism. Such resolutions were in vogue last school year throughout our state. Many districts adopted CRT style resolutions. Our staff did a copy and paste to present us a toned down draft, but it died a quick death because the foundation was still CRT. I drafted the attached resolution on the basis of equal protection under the law as expressed so eloquently by MLK (quoted at the start of our resolution). It's very hard to argue against MLK, which is exactly what CRT does when it condemns "colorblindedness" and "assimilation" as racist.
This illustrates the fundamental schism in America with regard to race: CRT versus MLK. MLK is the key to a country in which all folks can live as they wish as individuals. CRT is a collectivist ideology that encourages division among the races.
Resolution 2120 Condemning Racism