‘No plans’ for CRT in Tri-State school district. So why are people protesting?

Parents and community members say Critical Race Theory is wrong for students.
Protesters gather to oppose Critical Race Theory in Forest Hills School District
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - Community members and some parents of Forest Hills School District students gathered Monday afternoon to protest critical race theory (CRT).

The protest at Nagel Middle School comes amid a national conversation on race relations and CRT.

CRT is described as “a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism,” the Associated Press wrote.

Forest Hills school leaders say CRT is not being taught in the district’s schools—and they don’t plan on adding it.

District Superintendent Scot Prebles confirmed as much at the Forest Hills Board of Education’s May 24 meeting, where he described CRT as “a very complex, doctoral-level theory” that is not taught or explored in Forest Hills classrooms and is not something represented in any curriculum.

“Nowhere are the words ‘Critical Race Theory’ included in the district’s strategic vision,” Prebles said. “Critical Race Theory is not endorsed by the district, nor by its administration, and has not been emphasized by its CARE Team.”

The district’s CARE Team, comprising teachers and administrators, was created after incidents of some students not feeling comfortable or included. District leaders say the goal of the CARE Team is to further professional development and help students who have concerns on race, gender or other issues of noninclusion.

>> Photoshopped images outrage parents, draw discipline at Nagel Middle School

The CARE Team was at the center of the May meeting after some accused it of promoting CRT, an accusation Prebles said caught him “off guard.”

The team had not met collectively so far in 2021, Prebles explained then.

“The indoctrination allegations are not true,” he said. “We have not promoted CRT and have no intentions of doing so.”

All the same, the district is listening to community feedback, Prebles said at Monday’s BOE meeting, during which he announced a Citizen Advisory Group to audit the district’s wellness initiatives.

A district spokesperson added: “Our work has always been intended to better understand all aspects of the students we teach. We want to engage students in relevant work in inclusionary environments and to offer equal opportunities for all.”

Rachel Citak, one of Monday’s protesters, doesn’t agree that CRT isn’t being taught in Forest Hills schools.

“What myself and parents in the area are upset about is that this language in this program has been steeped in CRT,” Citak said, “and the problem is that when we use CRT to address these problems, it’s just using racism to solve racism with more racism.”

More, our media partners at the Enquirer quote a parent who says terms like “white privilege,” “oppression” and “implicit bias,” which the parent characterizes as “CRT terms,” are in the school’s curriculum.

Another parent calls it a “fabricated issue,” according to the Enquirer.

Helaine Wilson is a CRT proponent.

“For it to be taught in schools is important,” Wilson said on Monday, “because it’s true events. It’s events that are happening. It’s the truth. It happened in the past. It continues to [happen.] And if schools can teach Christopher Columbus discovered America, and he didn’t... How is it we can teach likes, but we can’t teach the truth?”

Tyson Butler, another protester, counters CRT boxes students in based on their personal identity.

“Ultimately what it comes down to is we’re teaching kids to judge each other and to base their identity fully on race,” he said of what he fears in CRT.

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