FULLERTON, Calif.—The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified school board held a special meeting on March 23 to discuss a resolution to halt the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Trustee Leandra Blades, who has been advocating for the ban, calls CRT—a theory that divides society into oppressors and oppressed based on race—a “divisive theory” that pins races against each other.
“A lot of people are leaving and going to charter schools and private schools for traditional learning curriculum that doesn't teach CRT,” Blades told The Epoch Times.
The attempt to ban CRT from the curriculum began late last year as Blades said she received complaints from high school students that were assigned to write papers based on their teacher’s political beliefs. Students who don’t share the same opinions as their teachers get marked down, she added.
While Blades said she is wary about the teaching of CRT, she said this doesn’t mean she is against teaching about the history of the Jim Crow Laws, displacement of Native Americans, segregation, and slavery.
Trustee Shawn Youngblood said at the meeting that students need to be given the tools they need to determine answers themselves rather than being told what to think based on a teacher's opinion through CRT.
The school board went through a draft of multiple CRT teaching points and definitions that are sought to be banned, including one claiming that “a person’s race determines their moral character and makes them responsible for past transgressions of that race.”
However, a few of the board members were confused about the concept, including board president Carrie Buck and Trustee Karin Freeman.
“I’ve never seen anywhere in CRT where it says that or even alluded to that a person’s race determines their moral character,” Buck said during the meeting.
The pair were also taken aback about another CRT teaching point that claims “traits such as a work ethic or devotion to duty and obligations are inherently racist,” according to the school board.
“I’ve never heard anything associated with work ethic and race,” Freeman claimed.
The resolution reviewed by the board on Wednesday afternoon, March 23, needed more clarity on what would occur if a teacher encouraged a CRT discussion or materials within the classroom, attorney for public school districts Todd Robbins said during the meeting.
“What is the overall intent of the resolution,” Robbins questioned, while suggesting its lack of clarity regarding enforcement could cause it to be declared unconstitutional in court.
Robbins told the board it was obligated to ensure the guidelines on what teachers can and cannot teach inside the classroom and is clear and whether disciplinary actions would be put into place.
Robbins further questioned the multiple teaching points discussed and shared he had never come across those definitions to CRT.
The board will vote on the resolution to ban CRT on April 5.