Opinion: Debate Over Critical Race Theory (CRT) Threatens Vital Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Efforts in Schools | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

[Stacey Smith lives in Perkasie.]


“Critical Race Theory,” CRT, is the new catchphrase causing debate nationwide among school boards and parents, including those in the Pennridge School District. Well-intentioned people are being scared away from vital “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” DEI, efforts because of widespread misinformation and intentional fear-mongering.  


DEI initiatives are extremely important, common and non-threatening. Actual “Critical Race Theory” is a university-level concept, originated from a framework for legal analysis 40-plus years ago, not a curriculum for K-12 schools.  


However, the rhetoric from political extremists has turned it into a catchall to include anything related to DEI. This was a deliberate scare tactic, encouraged by national organizations hoping to sow division to get conservatives to the polls in November.


If we are going to worry about curriculum, let’s ensure that we are including an accurate portrayal of our country’s history, including the good, the bad and the ugly. Kids need to learn that it is possible to be simultaneously proud of your country and acknowledge its shortcomings.  


Beyond this, students need to be exposed to diverse points of view and life experiences, to help prepare them to be part of an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.


Please do not be fooled into voting for unqualified candidates running only on anti- “Critical Race Theory” platforms. Be diligent, do your research, speak to school board candidates to understand their positions.  


The success of Pennridge School District depends on all of us keeping our cool, being open-minded, working together and creating a positive experience for all our students.