Rep. Rick Roth came to the Palm Beach County School Board with a question — and a warning about an issue that’s roiling school districts across the country.
It’s called critical race theory and the West Palm Beach Republican told a joint meeting between the legislative delegation and the School Board Wednesday that he’s hearing concerns it’s happening in the same schools both he and his children call their alma mater. And it’s a concern that might cause an exodus from public schools, he said.
“Is there curriculum material or teacher training that separates students based on race or teaches students through the lens of racial discrimination?” he asked.
Critical race theory has emerged as a political issue this past year. Roth said he heard about it during a Facebook discussion with Rep. Randy Fine of Brevard County. Critical race theory is an academic concept that posits systemic racism is embedded into American institutions and processes. Gov. Ron DeSantis has riffed against it. The Virginia Governor’s race included an advertisement for the Republican candidate featuring a mother who was unable to get a novel about slavery’s horrors taken out of the curriculum because of the Democratic candidate’s policies.
Superintendent Mike Burke said the district does not teach critical race theory to Palm Beach County students. They do learn about history, according to state standards, which do not gloss over historical facts like slavery that might make some people feel uncomfortable.
The term, “critical race theory,” Burke said, is being used to get people angry about what’s going on in schools, but he welcomes the opportunity to talk about it.
“This is a manufactured term to incite, to try to divide us,” Burke said.
“Boom,” said Sen. Bobby Powell, a Democrat from West Palm Beach, nodding in approval.
Roth also wanted to know if “gender fluidity” was being taught. He said he’d heard enough to be concerned.
Burke said “gender fluidity” is not being taught in Palm Beach County schools, but “tolerance” is.
“We want everyone to feel welcome on our campuses,” he said.
Roth said Palm Beach County schools will be asked to prove it in specific, concrete terms.
“I’m just saying as a friendly warning that I have friends that are … requesting books and requesting materials or going to public school libraries,” Roth said.
Sen. Tina Polsky, another Democrat, said she found it “shocking” that individual school districts are being accused of this.
“We obviously have standards up at the state,” she said.
Roth, later, said he is not accusing, just trying to start a conversation.
“I brought it up so I can have an open dialogue with the superintendent,” he said.
School Board member Erica Whitfield said Wednesday’s meeting reflected what’s going on nationally with schools, and she had a plea regarding a current joint resolution that would require school board candidates to indicate their political affiliation when running.
“I’m really hopeful that you will not vote to support partisan races for school boards,” she said. “I think it could be very detrimental to the schools in the state of Florida … What we want on our school boards is people who want to represent the community and not have to pick a side.”
November 11, 2021 at 3:30 pm
When will reporters challenge the merits of what lawmakers say and stop reporting their falsehoods…you’re helping keeping too many of us ignorant…
November 11, 2021 at 3:45 pm
The following companies support, fund, Joe Biden, the Democrat party, BLM and other far left organizations. Financial BOYCOTT whenever possible the following socialist enablers. Patriots, pass this along….
Bank of America
Ford Motor Co.
Jack in the Box
Johnson & Johnson
Levi Strauss & Co
State Farm Insurance
The General Insurance
November 11, 2021 at 4:36 pm
And how many of these companies donate dollars to Republicans or news organizations such as OAN?
Addressing the CRT issue, how many K to 12 schools teach CRT in American? Please let me know. Also, I want no school teaching my children about our wars against the Germans. Coming from German heritage, I find it offensive that my children will learn that Germany fought the USA.
November 11, 2021 at 5:57 pm
Zero. You think goldman sacs , face book, twitter would give money to Republicans? Your way behind. Do some research, most of the list is obviously far left. Google….. woke companies.
November 11, 2021 at 7:52 pm
Do your research my darling Darlene. Facts are interesting.
November 11, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Biden sure is one old used weakling who hates white people. To allow black activists to mind fk your child lol.
November 12, 2021 at 6:42 am
I can suggest a few books you might find in a school library for Rick and Randy to read.. How about Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 where firemen burn books, or Inherit the Wind where ignorance trumps teachers like John T. Scopes? Here is hoping the kids are a little less cognitively challenged and more open minded than parents and politicians.
November 12, 2021 at 8:22 am
Hello, to those who are far lefties above…CRT teaches our kids that racism is embedded in our country, that our country is bad. Classic Marxist/Leninist tactic to indoctrinate our children. But the far left never lets facts get in the way of their propaganda. The former Dean of the College of Education at FIU admitted to me that he was a Leninist. Get it yet?
November 12, 2021 at 9:58 am
it would be nice if journalists actually fact checked and included “CRat is in fact not in state developed curriculum that has been run by republicans s since 1998. And really white people, try cleansing your racist hearts. What are you so afraid of? Being treated the way you have treated Non whites for 250 years?
November 12, 2021 at 10:42 pm
Okay let’s also teach how blacks make up the overwhelming majority incarcerated in prisons and jails and have for decades? At 13% of the population is a near trick. You’re racist keep your propaganda for your children.
November 13, 2021 at 8:29 am
It seems the burden of proof is on this Republican bozo. School officials aren’t obligated to prove anything. Besides, even if they did, the right wingers would say it was all lies because it doesn’t match what they believed going into the discussion. Lot of manufactured outrage out there.
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