Regarding your recent article, by Ms Colon
"Misinformation about critical race theory is 'dividing us,' CT selectman says."
The headline's reference to "misinformation" itself is misleading. We need to look more closely at the actual "misinformation" surrounding this episode.
First, it is not our position that Critical Race THEORY is being TAUGHT in our schools. Nevertheless, the PRACTICE of Critical Race Theory is being APPLIED in our schools. Holding up the former as a "straw man" in order to deny the latter is pure, disingenuous obfuscation. Proponents of CRT deliberately promote this confusion. To be clear, it is the imposition of CRT's corrosive prescriptions for our schools -- its tenets, principles and consequences known now as "woke culture" or so-called "social justice" -- that we oppose.
Similarly, Easton Selectman Bindelglass deliberately sows confusion with his repeated reference to a "national campaign" to oppose CRT. Our group has no affiliation whatsoever with any sort of national organization. Our initiative is strictly local in its actions, funding and membership. Instead, entirely to the contrary of Bindelglass' assertion, it is the NEA teachers union, with specific reference to Critical Race Theory, that has made the issue one of national action with dedicated funding, materials and resources, threats of lawsuits, civil disobedience and other steps in support of CRT activism. If it appears that a national CRT-opposition movement exists, it is an indication of the authentic, widespread, committed grass-roots resistance to the harmful effects of applied CRT.
The recently-approved ER9 "survey" that apparently was a factor leading to Superintendent Harrison's resignation is an instance of the applied CRT that we oppose. It is dishonest to call it a survey, inasmuch as its "findings" are inherently tainted by statistical failings and therefore useless for any rational decision-making. Instead, it was a piece of propaganda, its content intended to foist "woke" CRT concepts upon our students and families, by the simple act of taking it. Redding BoE member John Reilly's statement that the "survey was designed to help include students who feel or are marginalized" is arguably false and, worse, a weaponization of compassion, intended to foreclose any further debate or discussion.
We take issue also with Supt. Harrison's earlier reference to disrespect for his "lived experience as a person of color" as disingenuous, and a barely-concealed suggestion that our towns are racist. Well-meaning individuals having no racial animus, no racist intent, and certainly no racist actions, are impliedly, and in this context often expressly, accused of racism -- a slander on our towns' parents, families, taxpayers and citizens. Race, and gender, and every other so-called "identity" for that matter, are emphatically not factors in our positions. We take individuals for who they are, not what they are. That we need to say so is beyond unfortunate.
But this is just one example of the disrespect CRT advocates have for their opposition. Our educators and Boards of Education have a stunningly low opinion of our towns' parents, who are their constituents and ultimate employers. Should the beliefs of some taxpaying citizens be disregarded because they have no children in the schools, making their views somehow inauthentic or void? Yet some BoE members think so. The chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee insultingly asserted that opposition arises from "fear of change" and a reluctance to "move forward." And the national NEA teachers association calls opposition to CRT, without irony, an "attack." Dialog, to put it kindly, is not welcome in those quarters.
CRT advocates unquestionably believe they have moral standing superior to their opponents. They do not. By their actions they contribute to the very divisiveness they condemn. Our concern is entirely with the mental and emotional health of our children and, obviously, we disagree sharply with the stances of our Boards of Education. Ultimately, our students' welfare is solely in the realm of the parent-child relationship, and educators need to stand down when parents demand it for their children.
We think it unfortunate that the News-Times is complicit in our educators' attempts to control the narrative, contributing to the "misinformation" they decry. If our community is indeed afflicted by some form of institutional "-ism," it is plainly lodged in our Boards of Education.