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Republicans in Southlake, Texas, a community northwest of Dallas, swept local elections and took over the school board as voters rebelled against a proposal to instate critical race theory in school curriculum.
“On one side, progressives argued that curriculum and disciplinary changes were needed to make all children feel safe and welcome in Carroll, a mostly white but quickly diversifying school district,” NBC News reported. “On the other, conservatives in Southlake rejected the school diversity plan as an effort to indoctrinate students with a far-left ideology that, according to some, would institutionalize discrimination against white children and those with conservative Christian values.”
Republicans blew out Democrats by a roughly 70% to 30% margin to take two spots and control of the Carroll Independent School District board, two city council seats, and the Southlake mayor’s seat. The election results, finalized Sunday, showed a ballooning voter turnout about 3-times larger than past local elections.
The landslide for conservative Republicans came nine months after progressives on the school board introduced a plan to instate critical race theory in the local school curriculum and force educators to take diversity training and other so-called anti-racism courses.
The election “was a referendum on those who put personal politics and divisive philosophies ahead of Carroll ISD students and families, and their common American heritage and Texas values,” Southlake attorney Hannah Smith, who beat local business consultant Ed Hernandez for a spot on the school board, told NBC News in a statement.
“The voters have come together in record-breaking numbers to restore unity,” Smith said. “By a landslide vote, they don’t want racially divisive critical race theory taught to their children or forced on their teachers. Voters agreed with my positive vision of our community and its future.”
President Joe Biden and other progressive Democratic lawmakers are pushing schools to adopt critical race theory curriculum, which teaches that inequality is a result of systemic racism. The New York Times’ “1619 Project” is arguably the best-known example of critical race theory applied to the study of U.S. history. The project argues that slavery continues to infect almost every institution in the United States, resulting in systemic racism against black Americans and other minorities.
The Biden administration is pushing schools to bring critical race theory curriculum into their classrooms. Last month, the Department of Education proposed a rule that school districts that adopt critical race theory, the “1619 Project,” and other so-called “anti-racism” studies would be prioritized for federal loans and grants.
U.S. historians have lodged numerous complaints about the “1619 Project,” which claims the true founding of the U.S. should be marked at the moment the first slave ship arrived in America in 1619.
“I was disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective on the complexity of slavery, which was clearly, obviously, not an exclusively American institution, but existed throughout history,” Princeton University’s James McPherson said in 2019. “And slavery in the United States was only a small part of a larger world process that unfolded over many centuries.”