In a recent letter to the editor, Laureen Boll (Douglas County FAIR chapter leader and Douglas County Libraries Foundation chair) writes how “some parents” have taken it upon themselves to purge critical race theory from DCSD and boasts about their “success.”
Boll fails to mention that she is not a DCSD parent, nor does she acknowledge that CRT has never been taught in DCSD. She also conveniently omits the fact that in DCSD, racism and discrimination on the basis of immutable characteristics has been described as “rampant” and “systemic.” For decades, the district has been urged by multiple stakeholders to take action, to no avail, resulting in countless complaints and ongoing litigation with the Office of Civil Rights.
The April 2021 “Making Connections Workshop” that Boll misrepresents and misquotes was voluntarily attended by many DCSD staff. The workshop consisted of sessions focused on evidence-based best practices for general education, gifted learners, special education, trauma-informed practices, classroom and behavior management, youth mental health and student perspectives. In an independent post-session analysis, only 0.03% of respondents had a negative review about the workshop. Statistically, for a professional development session, this is a screaming success.
All of this is evidence that Boll and the parent community she represents are misinformed about educational equity and its effects on student outcomes. Yet, they continue to spread disinformation, creating conflict where none exists, thereby harming our public education, our students and staff, and by extension, our community.
I offer this advice, particularly for those in positions of power in our community, who extol colorblindness, quote MLK without context, twist and misrepresent reality and advocate to abolish systems of support in the name of “equality not equity” - Please step out of your echo chambers. Try to look beyond your personal interests and authentically engage with people who don’t share your worldview, your identity, your faith. Seek out true “diversity of thought” and try to objectively analyze how policies you make, advocate for or fight against affect larger swaths of the community before you claim and boast about doing good while claiming to defend liberal democracy.
In hindsight, you may be doing more harm than good, sowing hatred and creating division rather than uniting the community. Creating consensus and finding common ground is what continues to define liberal American democracy. Anything less is fascism.