Trustees to examine what new anti-racism law means to BCSD
By Eric Valentine
The new state law proponents say is aimed at “stopping the spread of anti-white racist ideology being taught to the youth in our Idaho public education institutions” will become the topic of discussion at future school board meetings, Blaine County School District board president Keith Roark said.
The bill, which Governor Brad Little signed into law last week, does not outright ban the teaching of what’s known as Critical Race Theory. But it does outlaw what the legal text describes as “certain tenets” of the controversial theory, which can “exacerbate and inflame divisions on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens.” The text of the bill does not state what those tenets are.
Roark said the topic will likely be discussed at the May and/or June school board meetings, but that consultations with and from administrative staff, department heads, and the district’s attorney need to take place next, before any formal recommendation can be brought to the board.
“This bill is a solution in search of a problem,” Roark said regarding the new law.
Roark expressed frustration that the CRT matter took focus away from other educational matters lawmakers were slated to address and even held up legislation on teacher pay.
“It’s no wonder why we’re so far down the list” when it comes to educational funding, Roark added.
The new law, however, figures to be greeted more warmly for some. On April 27, the Blaine County Republican Women held its general meeting where the featured speaker was Idaho State Representative Priscilla Giddings, a major proponent of the bill. A press release for the meeting read as follows:
“As part of the legislature crafting higher education budgets, Idaho State Representative Priscilla Giddings recently raised concern with progressive indoctrination efforts in Idaho schools. She is on the frontlines of stopping this curriculum from being put into Idaho’s education system. She has proposed cutting college and university budgets by more than $18 million to defund such efforts. Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to Representative Giddings on her efforts to Expose and Defund Critical Race Theory in all levels of Idaho’s schools.”
A Race To Nowhere
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Critical race theory (CRT) was officially organized in 1989, at the first annual Workshop on Critical Race Theory, though its intellectual origins go back much farther, to the 1960s and ’70s. Its immediate precursor was the critical legal studies (CLS) movement, which dedicated itself to examining how the law and legal institutions serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the poor and marginalized.”
But what’s the theory? Again, according to Britannica, it is an “intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category …” And, if you think about characteristics and categories germaine to the continuation of a species, that’s objectively correct. To put it bluntly: If you can procreate with it, you’re the same as it.
But here’s where CRT triggers sensitivities … Britannica goes on to say that race categories are “used to oppress and exploit people of colour.” And then here’s where CRT begins to burn the flag in some people’s eyes … “Critical race theorists hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans.”
From the Source
How each person—from teacher and staff to student and parent—feel about the new law and react to the new law remains to be seen. What’s set in stone, however, are the actual words of the actual law, which can be read here: https://tinyurl.com/zr783xkz