Since I began covering the spread of critical race theory into public school curriculum, I’ve received one question more than any other: what concrete actions should we be taking to get this stuff out of kids’ classrooms?
This morning, I spoke to Vicki Manning, school board member with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS). Vickie has been on the frontlines of the battle against CRT in her district for the past 7 months. Here’s her advice:
First and foremost, Vickie urges parents (and concerned citizens) to attend local school board meetings. “Show up, speak up, and write to the board”, Vickie suggests. Showing up in person is best (or via zoom when necessary), but letters and emails go a long way. In terms of swaying the school board, there is power in numbers.
According to Vickie there is reason to be hopeful. In her experience, many parents in her purple district are concerned and willing to get involved. She believes the wave of parent resistance to critical race theory is poised to grow in other districts as well.
An easy first step is contacting your local school board to ask their stance on critical race theory and what policies, if any, are in place to ensure students are protected from ideological indoctrination at school.
Vickie also suggests talking to your child about what’s being discussed in their classes. “Ask them about their subjects, talk about what they are learning.”
Also worth noting is the importance of reading course syllabi and investigating any 3rd party websites or organizations referenced. Many teachers use educational websites as resources for lessons and videos, and a quick perusal of the types of websites your child’s teacher uses will tell you a lot about the tone of the lessons. A few notorious websites I discovered while covering the new california Ethnic Studies curriculum include “Facing History,” “Learning for Justice,” and perhaps most creepy, “CRTandthebrain.com.”
As a former school teacher, I will also add: review the curricula in your state and district, paying special attention to social studies and US history. While it is not always possible to view the curriculum for a specific course or teacher, state and district standards are available for most subjects online. The wording is often vague, but woke ideology has a recognizable signature. A quick automated word search for buzzwords like “equity,” “diversity,” “anti-racism,” “systemic racism,” “social justice,” “oppress,” “narrative,” and “bias,” is a good start. Much can be gleaned about the prevailing ideology in a specific school district from viewing publicly available documents found on local department of education websites. For example, one concerned parent sent me this alarming social studies curriculum today. Getting more eyes on these documents is crucial. Schools are not accustomed to being scrutinized, and that must change.
Encourage teachers to speak out, even anonymously
According to Vickie, many teachers are concerned, but the vast majority are too afraid to speak up. They worry about losing their jobs, their pensions, and their reputations. According to teachers who have written to me, young conservative teachers are “dropping like flies,” because the environment has become so hostile.
In many ways, these teachers are our eyes and ears in the schools. Vickie suggests encouraging teachers to write anonymously to the board, or publicly if they are willing. Let these teachers know you stand with them. Ask them to provide evidence and documentation of ideological materials distributed by the school. This can include curriculum materials, staff training materials, internal emails, etc.
If you’re not sure what to do with the evidence, submit them to whataretheylearning.com, a website that tracks CRT indoctrination in all 50 states.
No Left Turn In Education
Vickie recommends checking out the nonprofit No Left Turn in Education for more information about how to get involved. In addition to mobilizing parents to demand more transparency in the education system, No Left Turn also facilitates “legal counsel for parents, students, and teachers who require support to battle school indoctrination.” Additionally, NLT supports “legal actions against school districts that conduct discriminatory teaching and training.” According to Vickie, NLT is nearly growing faster than they can keep up with, as many parents are joining fight. But more are needed.
Contact the media
Vickie’s final piece of advice is to contact the media regarding incidents of injustice, bullying, and radicalization in your community. Those who push CRT ideology count on parents and students not fighting back due to the manufactured stigma. Shining a media spotlight on the truth is the first step in breaking the stigma that stifles dissent.
This story is part of my ongoing efforts to report on CRT in schools and local communities. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your feedback and stories.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.