MISHAWAKA, Ind. — The Penn Harris Madison Board of School Trustees refused to take up a vote affirming the school district would follow state law by not teaching Critical Race Theory or its tenets, despite a state memo sent to principals across Indiana warning them about such teachings. The memo was initially sent in 2021. It was sent again this month. Subscribers can view the memo for themselves below.
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At the meeting on September 12th, board member James Garrett brought up the memo and asked for a vote on the district’s stance. No other board member seconded the motion for the vote and the motion died.
“I would like to move that we add a discussion of and a vote on the Indiana Department of Education division statement on CRT in schools. I’d like to then vote on the resolution supporting that, that was provided by our own counsel.” Garrett said.
“We teach the Indiana Academic Standards.” Superintendent Jerry Thacker said, ignoring several instances of CRT being taught in PHM schools. “There is no Critical Race Theory in the Indiana Academic Standards.”
“If you do your research on this particular topic, you’ll find that all of the so called whistleblowers across the country that reveal that people who say exactly what you said.” Garrett responded. “But yet, it is being embedded in our schools in the form of lesson plans that embed the 5 tenets of CRT into teaching.”
“I don’t know if it’s taught (here) or not. I hope it’s not… but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a rule against it. Just because students are late to your class doesn’t mean you don’t have a rule against tardiness.” Garrett continued.
PHM schools have in fact introduced Critical Race Theory teachings into the curriculum. At one point, the school district had introduced the “Pyramid of White Supremacy” into Social Emotional Learning lessons, in which any conservative or uniquely American ideal was deemed racist.
PHM’s own teacher of the year winner, Danielle Black, also wrote her master’s thesis on how she was incorporating CRT into her classroom and how teachers could continue to spread CRT teachings throughout the school district. You can read her entire thesis here.
A PHM elementary school principal is also a board member of an education association that pushes CRT teachings. Christie Heershop, the principal of Mary Frank Elementary School, is one of 12 Elementary Board Members for the Indiana Association of School Principals. The IASP pushes radical racial ideology, suggesting races should be treated differently in the education setting.
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