Administrators of the Jefferson County school district, the second largest in the state of Colorado, have publicly insisted that they are not teaching CRT in the district’s schools. But material found on the district’s website and elsewhere contradicts this narrative.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) has become a hot topic in school districts across the nation. Instead of promoting a colorblind society, CRT teaches students that the world can be divided along racial lines into oppressors and victims and that racism has infiltrated every aspect of our society and its institutions.
Matt Flores, chief academic officer at Jefferson County Schools, was recently cited in the Denver Post as stating that Jeffco Schools do not teach CRT, nor do they teach the precepts of the 1619 Project, a project of The New York Times which seeks to place slavery at the center of American history. The 1619 project has been widely criticized and debunked as ahistorical propaganda.
According to district regulations, Jefferson County teachers who want to present controversial topics in the classroom must first receive permission from the district and must also notify parents beforehand. Controversial materials are defined as “materials that are likely to divide the community along racial, ethnic, or religious lines.” Recent reports cast doubt on whether teachers and administrators are following these mandates.
Barbara Paden, the mother of two children who attend Jefferson County schools, was outraged when her daughter’s assignment about women’s suffrage was rejected by her teacher. Interviewed by the Denver Post, Paden explained that her daughter wrote about an “18th-century women’s rights advocate in France who was beheaded.” Instead of lauding the student for her initiative, her mother explained, the teacher gave her a zero on the assignment and recommended that she “focus on the suppression of Black women’s vote in the 20th century.”
While the Jefferson County School District claims not to promote CRT, this statement is directly contradicted by an official district website page devoted to “Racial Equity Resources.”
“Jeffco Public Schools is committed to continuing our mission of educating every student in an inclusive and welcoming environment free from racism and violence,” states the page. “We also encourage our community to have critical conversations about race and equity and become agents of change.”
A parent might rightfully question whether it is the role of a public school to encourage their children to “become agents of change.” And they might be even more disturbed by the CRT propaganda featured on this page devoted to racial equity.
The materials provided on this page include a podcast devoted to the 1619 Project, and the CRT-primer How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. Other suggested resources include a TED talk from Verna Myers, a workplace diversity advocate, who instructs her listeners to focus on the race of individuals rather than aiming for colorblindness and Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, a children’s book, which depicts a white character with a devil’s tail offering the reader a “contract binding you to whiteness.” It is an interesting list of “resources” for a school district which insists it has no interest in promoting Critical Race Theory.
Even the school district’s graduation requirements not-so-subtly hint at the district’s attempts to make social justice warriors of its students. These mandated requirements for graduation include “Cultural Responsiveness” which is defined as “Students will develop cross-cultural skills and cultural self-awareness through study and travel in order to advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equitability.” Students are also expected to demonstrate “Responsible Global Citizenship” by which the district means, “Students will develop critical thinking skills and expand their perspectives on U.S. and world history, geography, civics, and economics through multiple lens, including social justice and intersectionality, in order to become responsible global citizens.”
Despite the denial of school officials, it is undeniable that Jefferson County School District is pushing a far-left, CRT-influenced racial narrative, to which students must officially acquiesce in order to graduate high school. The administrators at the helm of the Jefferson County School District have quite a lot of explaining to do.