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PHM School Board to vote on CRT resolution

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned the Penn Harris Madison School Board will vote on a resolution that states the district’s position on not allowing tenets of Critical Race Theory to be taught anywhere in the district. RNM has confirmed two board members will request the resolution be put on the agenda, forcing the entire board to first vote on if the resolution will be added to the agenda. If it passes, there will be another vote regarding the actual resolution. Board Member James Garrett has attempted to force a vote like this for years. However, there was never a second member who supported the resolution until this year when Board Member Matt Chaffee was sworn in.

This news comes after a heated exchange at a school board meeting earlier this week regarding Critical Race Theory in which both Garrett and Chaffee brought up their concerns.

“Back in August 2021, the IDOE put out a memo on CRT.” Garrett stated when starting the discussion at Monday’s board meeting. “For the last year and a half, as you recall, I’ve brought this to the board on many occasions. Finally, I discovered the memo was sent out to all of the principals and the principals were supposed to distribute the memo in the form of a guideline… through SMORE newsletters (newsletters to parents). That was about three months ago. So, I’m assuming all of our principals have done that at this point… I’m hoping the principals have done their job.”

“In light of what has come to light… what I have feared, is actually happening.” Garret continued, reference an undercover investigative journalism video put out by Accuracy in Media. “Do I believe (CRT) is incorporated in classroom activities by activist teachers who believe in this stuff? Absolutely I do.”

“In order to ensure they don’t, I think we should move this a little farther than just making it a guideline and we should make it a school policy.” Garret said. “Like we did with the one Anti-Racist resolution, I think we should have a resolution dictating CRT and anything that has to do with CRT is not going to achieve that goal.”

“I think it’s important that we communicate our stance as a board.” Board Member Matt Chaffee said following Garrett’s remarks. “I would echo (Garret). I would ask that we take a look at this and see if there is potential for that to be put on the agenda for the May 22nd meeting.”

“For us to put together a policy and impose it on the teachers and say ‘you have to follow this policy’ when the policy is not very well thought out… it puts on them… an unnecessary burden and unnecessary stress on the job.” Board President Chris Riley tried to claim. “What is the fuss about? We are literally discussing nothing. We are discussing a policy that is addressing nothing. It’s just a waste of time.”

“It doesn’t make sense to me that we focus on what we don’t teach.” Board member Clare Roach added.

What Riley and Roache ignored is the multitude of examples of CRT being taught in PHM schools including the Pyramid of What Supremacy, Microaggressions and the masters thesis written by a PHM teacher of the year in which she described how she was incorporating CRT into her everyday lessons.

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  1. Way to go Garrett and Matt!!

    This board dismisses the notion that “It doesn’t make sense to me that we focus on what we don’t teach.” But fails to recognize that’s what all policy and laws are for… to prevent anyone from crossing the line when you know that line exists.

    It is also hypocritical for a lawyer, of all people (speaking Chris Riley here..) would dismiss the idea of logical policy since it is lawyers, after all, who create voluminous contracts that include all the “ifs” in a relationship that could possibly go wrong… as far-fetched as many of those contractual terms may be.

    That hypocrisy speaks volumes.

  2. What concerns me most is that PHM can dismiss CRT, then activist teachers can focus on ‘Social-Emotional Learning’, or ‘ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, or ANY OTHER TITLE THEY WISH TO CALL IT, and (then) truthfully proclaim “We don’t teach CRT”. Another Big Lie.


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