Virginia has seemingly become ground zero for the conservative fight against Critical Race Theory (CRT), with Loudoun County parents leading the way.
But another, more conservative Virginia county – Powhatan – has begun its own battle against CRT, The Federalist reported.
It started on May 3, when county Board of Supervisors member Mike Byerly showed the community a PowerPoint presentation from Powhatan County Public School (PCPS) teachers discussing teaching CRT but calling it “cultural competency.”
“Byerly had requested information on school spending from the previous year but had yet to receive an itemized account of curriculum purchases. Byerly also shared a concerning list of companies and organizations funded by PCPS that included CRT and Black Lives Matter proponents such as the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium. In contrast, Byerly also noted a recently mandated African American history class would be a positive addition to county schools,” The Federalist reported. “Byerly’s address led to a cascade of community responses, the majority from parents who were shocked and frustrated by the school board’s involvement in divisive training and curriculum counter to American values.”
Viki Hurt, a former teacher and member of No Left Turn, a grassroots education group, told the outlet that, contrary to what proponents of CRT and their media supporters claim, opposing CRT is not about opposing the teaching of America’s history.
“We want all of history to be taught, but we also don’t want our children to pay for the sins of past generations,” Hurt said.
On June 22, at the Board of Supervisors and school board joint meeting, Byerly shared a Facebook post showing a teacher asking other educators to incorporate CRT into classroom instruction. At that same meeting, “County Supervisor David Williams shared slides from the Virginia Inquiry Collaborative (VIC), a consortium encouraging race-based teaching to include the oppressiveness of ‘white culture’ and learning through the lens of ‘systemic racism.’”
Sarah Taylor, a resident of the county and another member of No Left Turn, asked some pertinent questions at the meeting.
“Why are we sending teachers to a conference to re-write Virginia history which focuses on whiteness and the color of someone’s skin?” she asked. “What does this have to do with curriculum in Powhatan County? What does this have to do with math and science? This idea of race being the predominant factor in curriculum has got to go.”
More from The Federalist:
Williams also presented a training slide from the collaborative entitled, “Construction of a Dominant Narrative: ‘Whiteness,’” describing race as “not based on genetics,” a “social construction” and “not ‘real’” but containing consequences for the “racialized.” Race, the slide goes on to say, “was created to and remains the main tool for maintaining social, economic and educational inequality in the U.S. and beyond.”
Parents were outraged to learn the teachers had been participating in this training without community input, and Byerly proposed a motion to immediately ban CRT from PCPS classrooms, a move that was stalled by school board members.
Following the meeting, PCPS revised mention of the training on its website to downplay its importance.
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