Paso Robles school board bans teaching parts of critical race theory


By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District board on a 4-3 vote Tuesday adopted a resolution banning the teaching of certain aspects of critical race theory.

In June, Trustee Dorian Baker proposed a resolution banning critical race theory (CRT). Board President Christopher Arend then penned a resolution banning parts of CRT.

As adopted, Arend’s resolution allows critical race theory to be taught in district classrooms, but requires instructors to focus on its flaws. Additionally, the resolution bans teaching ideas including, only white people can be racist; racism is ordinary in society; the founding of the United States was rooted in slavery; and members of a certain race created meritocracy to oppress members of another race.

CRT is based on false assumptions about the United States and is a divisive ideology that assigns racial guilt, according to the resolution.

Even though CRT is not currently taught in Paso Robles public schools, Arend expressed concern about elements of it seeping into the classroom.

Though three trustees took issue with the makeup of the resolution and voted against it, all board members have said they oppose instructors teaching critical race theory. In June, the board delayed voting on the resolution amid disagreements on the matter.

Numerous residents spoke either for or against teaching critical race theory during the June meeting. The district allowed a shorter public comment period during Tuesday’s meeting.

Proponents of the ban referred to CRT as divisive and racist. They voiced concerns that CRT is used to indoctrinate students.

Opponents of the ban argued that CRT shows how racism is rooted in American culture. They have also argued that the attempt to ban CRT is part of a conservative political agenda.

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