by Helen Sabin, Corvallis
My husband and I write letters to the editor about how Critical Race Theory (CRT) is more than dangerous to impressionable children as it changes their psychology, behavior, moral values, and thinking.
CRT can affect even adults, look up the June 2020 article by Samantha Chang in Biz Pack Review. She states: “This spectacle is the latest in a string of bizarre incidents where self-flagellating white people infected with White Guilt grovel and kneel before black people due to the injustices stemming from slavery — an institution that countless WHITE men died fighting to end 155 years ago.” CRT states that “If you are white, and state that you are anti-racism, you are a racist.” It’s a critical thinking trap and these pitiful people fell for it.
Even though Corvallis Superintendent Konen stated, “No CRT will be taught in the schools,” CRT language and intent is explicitly contained in the Office of Public Instruction Montana Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies that Superintendent Elsie Arntzen sent to the schools. It is also fundamental to the SEL programs that are envisioned by the Federal Government and CASEL. Superintendent has his own SEL program. How does he plan to reconcile that contrary direction? Parents need to find out.
However, don’t yell at the Superintendent or Board of Education too quickly. Both seek Federal funding (identified as ARP-ESSER) to help schools recover from the impacts of the pandemic, but unfortunately Federal policy intends to push CRT into every school in the country. The money has strings to further federal objectives. Will they be able to work round those strings?
The MT competencies are based on 5 Core Competencies advocated by (CASEL), The Coalition for Academic Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Those competencies define learning outcomes for teachers and children in grades K-12. They will be the foundation for the standards against which the school district will be assessed on regular basis by the Federal Government.
Go on YouTube and look up videos by CASEL. They clearly state what their race-based objectives are. So, how do we as parents and concerned citizens make sure that CRT is NOT being taught surreptitiously? How do we prevent racist and anti-American indoctrination via those competencies, so they do not corrupt students (and teachers) with this race-based ideology thereby destroying this country, its freedoms, security, and prosperity?
First, view the videos. Then download the Montana SEL Competencies and READ THEM. You will see language patterns that aim to indoctrinate and transform children’s thinking. Talk to and support your children and look at their papers and work! Look for those same word patterns. Let your child be your eyes and ears in classrooms. If you have any concerns, make an appointment with your child’s teacher and principal, and start asking hard questions.
Second, ask the principal, Superintendent and School Board, how those Montana Competencies will be used, implemented, and graded if CRT is “NOT being taught or used”? Will they be ignored? When teachers are told to “examine prejudices and biases,” or any other race intended action, they should ask OPI to define those terms and others in the Competencies. The words are stated as if they are a fact and exist. Don’t play that game!
Finally, GO TO SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS! They are held the SECOND TUESDAY of the month in the Corvallis High School Library, 6 p.m. for business discussions and 7 p.m. for comments on the agenda. If you have questions, send them to the Superintendent ahead of time so you get on the “agenda.” Give the Board and Superintendent time to prepare an answer.
Our Board is “trying to do a good job,” so support and thank them. However, still have high expectations for them and hold them accountable. Do not let the public school try to replace you as the parent. Let them know that academic proficiency is more important than other social emotional activities.
Above all, recognize that school choice alternatives are a last, and likely expensive, resort if the schools do not provide the education you want for your children. Loss of student enrollment hurts schools financially and can negatively affect the quality of education in them. Or it can serve as motivation for the public schools to improve. Be proactive, patriciate in and monitor your child’s education. Just don’t let down your guard. Trust but verify!