A Washington state mother says Critical Race Theory and similar woke topics have replaced traditional curricula in her daughters’ middle and high school classes while educators deny it or dismiss parental concerns.
In a letter to the Wall Street Journal published Monday, Bellevue parent Laura Peterson described the ways “divisive ideology” has infiltrated her children’s classes.
“My daughter’s sophomore English class replaced its unit on Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ with a two-monthlong unit on cultural identity in which students read articles about ‘whiteness’, ‘queerness’ and ‘cultural assimilation’,” she writes. “The same year, she experienced cultural- or racial-identity units in three other subjects: world history, health and even band.”
But when she or other parents raise concerns to educators in the district, they either deny the accusations or explain them away.
“[W]hen parents express concern about CRT in the classroom,” Peterson writes, “educators in our district deny its use or inundate us with psychobabble.”
It’s a common denial, according to reports from around the country, but arguments that CRT is not taught in schools are usually a matter of semantics, according to critics.
“[P]ublic-school teachers are being trained in the deeply divisive racial ideology—and defensive administrators are playing semantic games to allay parental concerns,” argue Nicole Ault and Megan Keller in a WSJ column published earlier this month, profiling a Pennsylvania father’s battle with a school district over its curriculum and teacher training.
“Our examination of those materials indicates that Tredyffrin-Easttown staff are being trained in critical race theory,” the authors write, before outlining specific examples.
That school district argues there is a difference between teacher training and student curriculum, but parents are reporting that the same concepts are showing up in their kids’ classrooms.
Peterson, for example, says her oldest daughter has been asked to create her ethnic and racial family tree five times since middle school.
“In my daughters’ history classes, essay prompts are no longer thought-provoking questions but slogans such as ‘No Human is Illegal’ and ‘Decolonize Your Curriculum’,” she writes. “My younger daughter’s middle-school history teacher scrapped the required curriculum (the events leading to World War II) in favor of reading newspaper articles pushing for open borders and illegal immigration.”