As a retired middle school counselor, I am dismayed by the recent arguments and fear surrounding the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our public schools!
So much misinformation abounds about what these charged words actually mean! I worked most of my professional career in 2 different suburban St. Louis, MO school districts and I saw, first-hand, the disparities between one majority Black, lower-income and one majority white, upper income districts.
One of my co-workers and I formed a student group called HEART (Helping Everyone Achieve Respect and Tolerance) in the latter district. As part of our work, we learned aspects of CRT without even knowing it!
We studied the history of various laws across our country and what impact they could have had on African-Americans going forward. We learned that it was once illegal for them to be educated and that, in many states, they were not allowed to own property or start businesses.
We talked about how they were prevented from voting and how the effects of these laws could have an impact even today. The purpose was NOT to make white students feel guilty. Instead it was to broaden their understanding of the world.
One of the key words in CRT is "Critical". Education should be teaching our students how to think critically. To evaluate something with a critical eye doesn't mean to put down, nor does it mean "essential". It means to question, reflect and think in new ways! We should encourage, not limit, students' thinking!
MARY CORSAIR / Indianola