John Klar: Vermont School Board Association misleading public on CRT

In a Sept. 20 “Statement on Critical Race Theory,” the Vermont School Board Association (VSBA) openly misled Vermont parents about the teaching practices that have been implemented in Vermont schools pursuant to the overtly left-wing political experiment called critical race theory.

Offensively, the VSBA, along with the Vermont Superintendents Association and Vermont Principals Association, use this statement to attack those with valid concerns, stating that “efforts to upset the delivery of public education” by “the spread of misinformation has only served to divide and polarize our communities.”

John Klar

In fact the opposite is the case — these organizations act as arrogant rulers over our children, and have launched a dangerous psychological identity politics experiment in Vermont classrooms. But in this statement they lie about that fact, and scapegoat those raising legitimate concerns. Time will reveal to parents what is really going on — it is odd these people believe they can simply gaslight to evade the truth.

Here is the misinformation they are trying to sneak past Vermont parents:

‘CRT, a legal and academic framework originating in the 1970’s, is not explicitly taught in Vermont public schools’

How trite — it is not “explicitly taught.” But, it is explicitly applied — woven tightly into curricula, including the inclusion of materials by CRT champion Ibram Kendi — with no competing materials present, such as the brilliant writings of Thomas Sowell, who demonstrates how pernicious and toxic CRT is. Vermont schoolchildren are being separated into “affinity groups” based on the color of their skin — the opposite of the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. — and the school leadership boasts that they are implementing a “radical change” in the way students are taught. But never mind, it is not “explicit.” This is deliberate misinformation by the school board. It is patently dishonest.

CRT is redefined as ‘equity practices’

The VSBA states:

In Vermont, there are many long-standing efforts to increase opportunities for each and every student to be successful and to close persistent opportunity gaps. These efforts are often referred to as equity initiatives. For example, school systems might examine a policy, practice, or procedure to determine if it is serving all students well, particularly if it disproportionately impacts one group of students more than another. At its core, creating more equitable school systems is about making sure that each and every student has the access and opportunity to succeed.

At its core, this is complete deception. Efforts to close opportunity gaps (called equality of opportunity) have indeed long existed under the MLK creed embraced by the U.S. Constitution. “Equity” refers not to equal opportunities but to equalities of outcome; every effort to guarantee equal outcomes causes inequalities of opportunity. This is axiomatic, yet the VSBA here confuses the two ideas. “Creating equity” is a uniquely social justice phrase, linked intricately to the CRT that is used without precedent to support it. It seeks to eliminate constitutional safeguards for free speech and equal protection. The VSBA statement is murky and dishonest; “equity” of outcome is an impossible goal and will lead to endless government meddling and a multiplication of bureaucratic inequities, as it is already doing in Vermont in many areas. Americans have always striven for equality of opportunity; the radical change of CRT is to make sure everyone achieves equality of “outcome.” The VSBA either doesn’t understand the difference or has deliberately conflated the terms to evade detection.

The schools ‘are just teaching accurate history’

Again from the VSBA statement:

Studying and developing a clear understanding of historical contexts, successes, and failures helps us all to progress as individuals, as a community, and as a collective society. This work includes exploring our history with a knowledge of the current status of race, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our communities, in Vermont, in our nation, and in our world.

This is rubbish. Vermonters have always studied history for these purposes. This false justification obscures the re-writing of Vermont history being implemented by these ideologues — that Vermont is a white supremacist state, and its farmers pushed black people off their lands using illegal Jim Crow and sharecropping laws. Most Vermonters know their history and resent the lies being crafted about our forebears.

And what is the “current status of race” in our nation? That is an allusion to the CRT (social justice) tenet that the entire American system is inherently racist because all white people are innately racist. Where is the Thomas Sowell view as an alternative consideration? The VSBA is not “exploring our history” using intellectual rigor; instead, identity politics is employed to shame Vermonters for a false history. All of this is part and parcel of CRT, a political theory we are told is not “explicitly taught” but which is openly employed even in the VSBA Statement.

The CRT we are not teaching is really great!

The statement goes on with the following:

CRT recognizes that race is a socially constructed idea rather than a biological reality. CRT is not synonymous with everything related to race and racism and it is not a catchall term for diversity, equity, and inclusion in education. There is nothing in CRT that is centered on blaming any individual or class of persons or promoting one race as superior to another. It is very likely that CRT might never have been mentioned in your community but for the recent politicization of the term and practice.

First of all, the association is here defending the CRT that it has just assured everyone is not “explicitly” being taught. It then explicitly lies about what CRT teaches: “There is nothing in CRT that is centered on blaming any individual or class of persons or promoting one race as superior to another.”

Simply false. CRT is centered on vindication for black and marginalized people for past oppression by white people. The term “white fragility” refers to anyone who is white who won’t acknowledge these “truths.” The term “white privilege” is the CRT term for unjust benefits received by all white people. Specific materials in Vermont schools teach that all white people are inherently prejudiced and must be “woke” to their subconscious racism, and atone. Ibram Kendi’s books are widespread in Vermont school materials. He teaches that only white people can be racist, and that only discrimination against white people can counter past discrimination against blacks. This is what is already being taught throughout Vermont schools, yet this school board just issued a public statement lying about it — investigate for yourselves.

‘It is very likely that CRT might never have been mentioned in your community but for the recent politicization of the term and practice’

They are dreaming — eventually parents will notice that their kids are being conditioned to hate themselves, their nation, and their home state. The “recent politicization” has not been parents who are understandably concerned that Martin Luther King, Jr. has been quietly removed as moral standard; it is these leftwing zealots who have snuck CRT into schools for a number of years and now argue that anyone who notices is “recently politicizing.” No, this is Vermonters waking up properly to a grotesque violation of trust by these bureaucrats.

As final obfuscation, the “statement” seeks to offer supposed teaching precepts as subterfuge for what is really being done. What is omitted is the plethora of social justice titles in the kids’ approved reading lists, including hateful racist poetry that glorifies hacking white people to death with a machete as retribution for slavery. Instead, the VSBA recites a rule for children it does not employ in its own statement: “Communicate in ways that foster a respectful exchange of ideas and support conflict resolution” — the opposite of what is contained in its “statement,” and in the treatment of many parents at School Board Meetings.

Please come learn firsthand about the various aspects of the CRT that we are told is so great, but is “not being taught explicitly” in Vermont schools. Our children are engulfed by these divisive “social justice” doctrines, and we will be standing up for their rights on Oct. 30 at noon at the State House. The school boards and many superintendents have opposed parents who ask reasonable questions. We must gather as private citizens in order to have the “respectful exchange of ideas” that these lying bureaucrats are denying us.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and the former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2021. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Guettarda

3 thoughts on “John Klar: Vermont School Board Association misleading public on CRT

  1. Re: “…every student in Vermont should be afforded the opportunity to learn in an environment that supports their academic success…”.

    And how’s that working out?

    According to the Agency of Education’s recent performance assessments, our kids enter school with only 52.3% meeting grade level standards in third grade Math. I guess the public-school Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and Second grade Math curriculum doesn’t do so well after all. Unfortunately, by the time they reach 9th grade, only 34.9% of them meet grade level standards in Math. Meanwhile, the State has stopped testing students in 11th grade (as they have in the past – just before they graduate). I wonder why?

    And, oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, Vermont taxpayers spend about as much to educate these students each year as it costs to send an in-state college student to Castleton University for a full year college course load, including student association fees, student resource fees, … and, get this, including Room and Board too.

    But at least we know 90% of our kids are learning that individual merit is discriminatory, that they are beneficiaries of white privilege, they are inherently racist, and anyone protesting the characterization and its assignment are domestic terrorists (their words).

    My advice: if you don’t get your kids out of the public-school monopoly now, you have only yourselves to blame for the consequences. Do whatever it takes. Get them out. Now.

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