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ACLU sends letter to school board in opposition of anti-Critical Race Theory resolution

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State school board leaders are facing new opposition over a proposed resolution critiquing Critical Race Theory.

The board started discussion about passing a resolution against the teaching framework and some civil rights leaders believe it could do more harm than good in the classroom.

State school board members are reviewing proposed resolutions that would push back against the teaching framework at the K-12 level.

But, if you ask education experts --- it’s not something that is happening.

“Critical Race Theory is typically introduced at the graduate level,” said Dr. Paulette Dilworth, Vice President of UAB’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “At the Master’s or PHD programs.”

A portion of the state school boards proposed resolution noted that schools would be barred against training staff to teach any students to believe that one race or sex is inherently superior.

Dr. Dilworth says Critical Race Theory is not a curriculum, but a high-level academic framework used to analyze how race and racism impact institutions in society.

“It can be used as a tool to understand what is happening in particular ways in school settings - in government, real estate, banking,” said Dilworth.

She says Critical Race Theory has turned into a controversial catch-all about conversations of race and history that happen in K-12 classrooms.

The Alabama American Civil Liberties Union sent a scathing letter to the state school board this week urging board members to reconsider passing an anti-Critical Race Theory resolution.

The executive director saying: “Instead of encouraging learning, this resolution aims to gag educators and students from talking about issues of the most profound national importance.”

Link to full letter: https://www.aclualabama.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/letter_to_alabama_state_board_of_education_july_7_2021.pdf

WBRC did reach out to the state school board to confirm receipt of that letter and ask for a comment. A representative said he was not familiar and was looking into the matter.

State school board leaders meet next week where discussions could continue. Leaders indicated at the previous meeting they hoped to have something in place before the start of the school year.

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