Critical Race Theory (CRT)
What is Happening with CRT or Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in Kutztown?
In December of 2021, Three of our PAC-Endorsed Candidates were sworn in as School Directors for a 4-year term.
At their very first meeting, they took a stand against the controversial Educational Equity Policy (Policy 809). However, the policy passed 5-4. The Educational Equity Committee proposed in this policy is currently meeting and determining next steps for achieving 'equity' in Kutztown, which would eventually be brought before the full school board.
In 2023, we have the ability to gain the majority on the board and reverse course on this dangerous policy. Read below to find out how a previous version of this policy was used in the school.
Do you know how your tax dollars are being used?
In late summer of 2020 (during COVID), the Kutztown School Board unanimously passed Policy 832 entitled "Educational Equity" and the Anti-Racist School Climate Resolution. These moves were done without consulting parents or the general public.
Sounds good, right? THINK AGAIN!
For example, Policy 832 included statements such as: "Combating racism in our schools is a legal and moral imperative" as part of the purpose of the policy, despite the fact that there are existing laws/policies in place to prohibit racism.
"Implicit bias shall mean the actions, attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in a subconscious manner."
"Individual racism shall mean prejudgment, bias, or discrimination by an individual based on race." Individual racism includes both privately held beliefs, conscious and unconscious, and external behaviors and actions towards others.
With this in place, your tax dollars were used to:
Produce newsletter articles on topics like white privilege & dominant culture, painting whites as oppressors and people of color as victims.
Created Morning Announcements for Elementary School Students explaining racism is when people are given extra benefits because they are white and others are given less because they are not white.
Developed a website (currently suspended) which featured Black Lives Matters for Schools, a violent Marxist organization.
All of these items are core tenets of critical race theory, disguised under good-sounding names.
Here is an example of morning announcements made to Elementary students:
4/13/21 This month the diversity equity and inclusion committee is examining white privilege. Author and activist Peggy McIntosh defines white privilege as "the set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who benefit from white privilege do so without being conscious of it."
4/14/21 Psychologist and former Spelman College president, Beverly Daniel Tatum, tells us a story about privilege and racism in her book titled "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? Let's listen to part of that story:
What if every afternoon I gave your brother two cookies for a snack and I only gave you one? And I did that day after day after day."
Would that be fair? No, it wouldn't.
Or what if you did something wrong and I took away your favorite toy as a punishment, but when your brother did exactly the same thing, I didn't take away any of his toys.
Would that seem fair? No, it wouldn't.
Racism is like that. Racism means some people are given extra benefits/privileges just because they are white, and other people are given less just because they are Black or brown. It means some people are treated harshly when they make a mistake just because they are Black or brown, but when white people make the same mistake, they don't get the same kind of punishment. Sometimes they don't get any punishment at all, That is very unfair"
How can you encourage yourself and others to be fair?
Parents and Concerned Citizens Attend School Board Meetings:
Parents became vocal following Elementary Announcements about "white privilege". Since May of 2021, we have started a movement to take back our school!
We have learned that the genesis of the policy came from the PA School Board Association. Again, it sounds good, but their Equity resources on their website are clearly related to CRT. They even provided guidance to board members to USE "Black Lives Matter", but to AVOID saying "All Lives Matter".
Thankfully some board members realized what the policy ushered in and attempted to stand up against it. But not all were in agreement because they claim there was just a poor implementation of the policy. Yet, when the Board President, Karl Nolte, motioned for a policy be developed to "Ban teaching through the lens of CRT", the motion failed, 3 to 6.
This policy created several heated board meetings to the point where Kutztown was mentioned in the Reading Eagle.
Following this negative press, Superintendent Christian Temchatin issued an email to parents of active students listing school accomplishments and explaining that Critical Race Theory is not included in the District core curriculum. Instead he said that the term "educational equity" is misunderstood. See Temchatin email. It appears to many of us that a semantics game is being played. They don't want to call it CRT, but it appears to include all the same material.
While Policy 832 was repealed, another watered down version Policy 809 was eventually approved in its place. Policy 809 passed 5-4, with our 3 PAC-endorsed board members voting against it.
Some troubling CRT language has been removed, but much of the content is the same and begs the question why this policy is even needed. Several board members and administrators believe an equity policy is needed to serve as an overarching policy to describe all the steps the district has in place to give students the help they need to succeed. This is despite the numerous policies the school already has on bullying, discrimination, IEPs, etc.