The term “Critical Race Theory” continues to make headlines across the nation as parents increasingly are confronting school boards concerned about the kind of curriculum being used in their kids’ schools.
At first, we were told the concerns over critical race theory were overblown. After all, what is wrong with having a frank discussion on race relations throughout our nation’s history? But as parents dug deeper, they realized there was much more to this than merely putting history under a microscope.
When the tactic of minimizing critical race theory did not work, woke activists landed on a new argument – namely that there is no such thing as critical race theory. They point to the fact there is no class in schools called “Critical Race Theory,” and so all of the furor about it must just be a right-wing talking point. Right?
The Chicago Tribune just recently ran an op-ed from Waukegan teacher Francis McCormick. In the op-ed he states, “If one expects to find critical race theory to be listed in school district training manuals or curriculum maps, they’re going to be disappointed. However, one mustn’t allow oneself to become pigeonholed into this idea that to identify critical race theory’s influence and application, it must be explicitly named. It does not exist in education as a course of student studies but as praxis (the practice of theory).”
In other words, the indoctrination is being implemented implicitly rather than explicitly and thanks to the actions of the Illinois State Legislature, it is only going to get worse. Illinois has embraced Culturally Responsive Teaching Standards, which encourages teachers to embrace woke ideology. Additionally, the Governor has signed Senate Bill 818, which requires schools to implement the National Sex Education Standards beginning in kindergarten. Students as young as 8 years old will now have curriculum that teaches them about masturbation and other sexually explicit material.
Add to this the willingness of the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Education Association to not only go along with the Governor’s overreaching school mask mandates but to encourage these mandates, and the wokeism in our schools is inescapable.
Parents have every right to be concerned about what is happening in their kids’ schools. What is happening is real and it is purposeful. Concerns about the indoctrination in our schools is what propelled Glenn Youngkin to victory in Virginia and it is what is driving favorable early polling for conservative candidates in the upcoming mid-term elections. Parents are tired of being ignored, and they are lining up to support candidates who will stand with them in opposing the indoctrination of their kids.
Certainly, there are many educators especially here in south central Illinois who see what is happening and are actively opposing wokeism in the schools, but this does not mean parents should be complacent. Parents must be engaged in their kids’ education, and they must continue to hold school board officials accountable for the decisions they make.
Parents also must hold elected officials at the state level accountable for their actions. The woke policies coming from Springfield are enabling the decisions of school boards to erode parental rights at the local level.
The war on families is a war we can and will win but it is up to us to be engaged at the state and local level and to be vigilant to stop the indoctrination of our kids because there is nothing more important than standing up for our kids and pushing back against woke indoctrination.