Idaho public school teachers defend pushing critical race theory on students
By Anna Miller
Parents and teachers across the country are denouncing critical race theory as racist indoctrination of innocent children. Idaho public officials, however, consider their conservative state to be immune to the progressive education movement, arguing “It’s not happening here.”
Meanwhile, 14 Idaho public school teachers are defending pushing CRT on students.
The Zinn Education Project created a national petition that has collected thousands of signatures from teachers pledging to violate state laws that ban critical race theory in public schools, including 14 signatures (and counting) from Idaho teachers.
The petition states that Idaho’s law aims “to prohibit teachers from teaching the truth about this country: It was founded on dispossession of Native Americans, slavery, structural racism and oppression; and structural racism is a defining characteristic of our society today.”
Opponents of Idaho’s law, like the teachers who signed Zinn’s petition, will argue that these laws will hurt efforts intended to address racism. Of course, even critical race theorists themselves will tell you that CRT is actually about discriminating against white people and rejecting the Civil Rights movement.
According to Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, CRT is “unlike traditional civil rights discourse” in that it “questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law.”
For example, Robin DiAngelo has claimed that it is “dangerous” to treat people equally regardless of their race.
Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist and perhaps the most influential critical race theorist, has argued the discrimination against white people is a positive social good. For example, Kendi wrote, “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
CRT indoctrination is already largely illegal under federal law. But as more public schools have become captivated by this radical ideology, Idaho legislators had to go further and protect students from racial discrimination and enforce the principles of the Civil Rights Act.
Idaho’s law does not prohibit or restrict ideas or what gets taught. It is the most lenient bill on CRT in the country and focuses on students’ rights under the First Amendment and Civil Rights Act. The law says, “No public institution of higher education, school district, or public school, including a public charter school, shall direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm … that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin is inherently superior or inferior; that individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin.” Nor can educational institutions use public money to do so.
Do teachers opposing this law want schools to be in the business of teaching race essentialism, collective guilt, racial superiority, and discriminatory treatment of some children by denying them equal protection of the law? Where are the teachers who will stand against indoctrination in Idaho’s public schools? If there are any teachers opposing this abhorrent form of discrimination in Idaho schools, it’s time to speak out.
Parents need to start paying attention and identify teachers who are dedicated to standing up for student’s rights. Teachers should support education—not indoctrination.
Teachers who signed Zinn’s petition
Here’s a list of the teachers who have signed Zinn’s petition and what they wrote in defense of CRT indoctrination:
- Katy Hopkins, Pocatello: “The kids are the future and they need to be armed with the truth”
- Joanne Klein | Boise: “If it isn’t messy, it isn’t history.”
- Dolly Higgins | Boise: “The truth matters – and it’s the only way forward.”
- Alexa McConville | Blackfoot: “Telling schools they can have more money if they pledge to not teach race theory is the reason Idaho ranks so low in education. It’s embarrassment. It. Is. Racist.”
- Melissa Young | VICTOR: “Students not only deserve to learn true history, but our future is these students using their voices as global citizens to make our world a better place.”
- Jenn Siegel | Boise
- Edwin Keener | Boise: “We must know truth as it happened. Truth does not diminish white people.”
- Kristina Batalden | Idaho Falls “I believe in teaching the truth.”
- Megan McMinn | Lewiston, ID “We need to know better to do better.”
- Julie Gill | Boise: “I object to Idaho and other states trying to censor teachers. It’s unconstitutional.”
- Katharine Schell | Nampa: “Children deserve to know our history and how to prevent it from happening again. Knowledge is power.”
- Mackenzie Smith | Meridian: “I never learned about Japanese Internment camps in high school even though I live 2 hours from Minidoka. Japanese internment camps are finally in our standards and my students learned about it this year. They appreciate not being lied to, and like me, they know when they have been deceived. we will not go back. I will not lie to my students. I will continue to teach the truth, if you want to teach the kids some twisted version of history be my guest — you make 40k before taxes & insurance in Idaho. Good luck. Until then, my students will learn the truth.”
- Susan Whipple | Boise: “The only way to make the country a better place is to teach the truth. We have to make students critically think and make decisions for themselves once they have the facts. In memory of George Floyd and Richard Greene and all the others who have perished at the hands of lynch mobs.”
- MariLana Buck | Pocatello: “I refuse to lie to my students. I will teach the truth.”
If you’re an Idaho teacher who opposes teaching critical race theory to students and would like to speak out, please email Media@IdahoFreedom.org.