School board members in New York wanted to embrace diversity, but hecklers had other plans

At a faculty board assembly in Commack, Long Island, this week, members of the general public heckled board members and college students alike in a contentious forwards and backwards relating to faculty curriculum.

After a presentation on the district’s curriculum, Board Trustee Susan Hermer tried to preempt disagreement earlier than public touch upon Tuesday night time’s curriculum presentation.

“I know there’s a lot of talk about critical thinking, and then we have people, once they hear the word ‘critical’ they think ‘critical race theory,’ but it’s not,” she mentioned.

“We’re not advocating for critical race theory — we’re not trying to pit people of color against White people, OK?” She continued, “We’re not going to discriminate against White people to achieve equity. We’re not dividing people into oppressed and oppressors, we’re not teaching socialism or Marxism — this is all stuff I’m reading on Facebook.”

The assembly in Commack appeared to underscore that many individuals disagree on what crucial race concept means. Proponents argue that it is merely stating historic details, but it is change into a political buzzword that will get conflated with range efforts.

“We want our students, basically, to embrace diversity,” Hermer mentioned, to a rumble of heckling from the group. “These are the Facebook people,” she replied.

But even the phrase “diversity” triggered some viewers members.

“Children don’t see that they’re different unless they’re taught that they’re different,” one lady in attendance mentioned to the board. “Stop pushing diversity on innocent babies.”

How a faculty board assembly turned a debate

Critical race concept is an idea that is been round for many years and that seeks to perceive and tackle inequality and racism in the US. The time period additionally has change into politicized and been attacked by its critics as a Marxist ideology that is a risk to the American lifestyle.

The board assembly was not about crucial race concept, but it did not cease some members of the viewers from demanding the Commack faculty board take a stance on the difficulty.

Another man requested the board members to denounce crucial race concept. “Do you guys agree with critical race theory curriculum or not? Because if you do then we have a problem.”

“I do not believe in critical race theory,” Board President Steven Hartman mentioned. “I do not believe it’s appropriate for the schools.”

The other 4 board members in attendance agreed that they didn’t assist what they understood crucial race concept to be, but advocated for range and important pondering in the curriculum. That included the only real board member of coloration in attendance, Justin Varughese, who was repeatedly interrupted whereas attempting to make a distinction between the curriculum’s range efforts and the “bogeyman” of crucial race concept.

Critical race concept acknowledges that systemic racism is a part of American society and challenges the beliefs that enable it to flourish.

But the varsity board and college students in Commack weren’t in search of a debate on Tuesday. They simply wanted to talk about a curriculum that embraced all its college students.

Two highschool juniors of coloration have been additionally repeatedly interrupted whereas advocating for the re-inclusion of “Persepolis” — a graphic memoir in regards to the Iranian revolution from a younger woman’s perspective — which had been faraway from the Commack curriculum. The e book has been removed from faculty curriculums in other states.

One of the scholars mentioned she was involved about not having sufficient books by numerous authors.

“If this book is removed from the curriculum, every book that we read will be coming from the same perspective of old White men,” she added to heckles from the group.

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