Controversy over how to teach racial history draws crowds to Manhattan-Ogden school board meeting

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – During a regular meeting for the $ 383 school board, more than forty members of the public showed up to share their thoughts on using critical race theory in teacher training.

Critical Race Theory is an academic framework that examines the enduring social impacts of racism and discrimination. The decision to include the topics in training sessions for district teachers proved controversial.

“I don’t support the Critical Race Theory because it really divides people into categories – white, black, talking about whites as oppressors and all the other oppressed and things of that nature that I don’t think do. do nothing constructive, ”said former Manhattan City Commissioner John Matta.

In some states, Republicans have sought to block the use of critical race theory in schools. In May, the state of Texas banned the subject completely from public schools.

But supporters say that while teacher training would not stop all acts of racism, the issue should be addressed by local school boards.

“A three-day training course for teachers won’t solve all of our problems, but it’s a step in the right direction,” said Shana Bender of the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice. “Especially when we know which districts are, our district in particular, has evidence of systemic racism over under-representation. “

The $ 282 school board took no action on the issue on Wednesday but is expected to meet again on June 30.

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