MISHAWAKA, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned the Penn Harris Madison Board of School Trustees refused to put a resolution regarding its stance on Critical Race Theory on its next agenda, despite two members pushing for a vote and adoption condemning the practice. The refusal from board leadership seems to be in vain though, as the two members plan to force the entire board into a vote anyway.
The two board members pushing for the resolution, James Garrett and Matt Chaffee, will request the resolution be put on the agenda at tonight’s meeting, 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 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 Chaffee was sworn in.
The resolution is essentially a district-wide acceptance of an Indiana Department of Education memorandum condemning the teaching of Critical Race Theory and its tenets. The resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS, in recent months there has been much discussion and debate locally and nationally regarding the inclusion of Critical Race Theory as part of the curriculum of K-12 public schools; and
WHEREAS, in Indiana, K-12 schools are required to teach the Indiana Academic Standards and the Indiana Employability Skills Standards
WHEREAS, the Indiana Department of Education has recently provided guidance regarding Indiana’s Academic Standards and Critical Race Theory; and
WHEREAS, the Indiana Department of Education has indicated that the State of Indiana will not support, condone or fund anything that alienates, discriminates or negatively divides students based on race or background; and
WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Penn-Harris-Madison Board of School Trustees to provide its position on the teaching of Critical Race Theory in PHM schools.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that neither the Indiana Academic Standards nor the Indiana Employability Skills Standards include Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory is not designed for elementary, middle or high school students; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation should and does fully support Indiana’s racially and ethnically diverse communities and believe all PHM students benefit from learning a full and factual account of our country’s historical events, shortcomings, and progress in addressing those past shortcomings; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation encourages efforts to highlight a diverse set of historical figures who are role models for our students regardless of race, religion or gender.
According to a Department of Education Memorandum sent to every school district in the state, “Critical Race Theory is not designed for elementary, middle, or high school students. Additionally, the State of Indiana will not support, condone, or fund anything that alienates, discriminates, or negatively divides students based on race or background.”
PHM School Board President Chris Riley has been a vocal opponent of such a resolution and claims CRT is not being taught in PHM schools. This is despite several examples of CRT indoctrination at PHM including a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lesson involving the Pyramid of White Supremacy, another SEL lesson involving microaggressions and PHM’s own teacher of the year writing her Master’s thesis on how she has incorporated CRT into her curriculum and how it can be adopted district-wide.
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