Paso Robles school board planning to ban critical race theory

June 20, 2021

School board President Christopher Arend

By KAREN VELIE

The Paso Robles school district board is scheduled to discuss a resolution banning the teaching of critical race theory at its meeting on June 22. If the board votes to approve the resolution on Tuesday, it will require a second vote on July 13.

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Trustee Dorian Baker proposed the ban last week. Baker’s suggestion follows the board’s April approval of an ethnic studies course under an agreement the course would not include critical race theory (CRT) or the degradation of American leaders, such as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, based on slavery.

CRT seeks to show racism is embedded in our society, and not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice. Proponents of CRT contend single-family zoning laws and promotion of the nuclear family promote systemic racism.

Critics of CRT charge that it promotes intolerance and unrest by dividing people into either oppressor or oppressed groups, of which only white people can be racist.

School Board President Christopher Arend authored the resolution which challenges the fundamental assumptions of CRT and bans its teachings.

“Critical race theory is a divisive ideology that assigns moral fault to individuals solely on the basis of an individual’s race and, therefore, is itself a racist ideology,” according to the Paso Robles school board’s proposed resolution. “Critical race theory views social problems primarily as racial problems and, thus, detracts from analysis of underlying socio-economic causes of social problems.”

If the school board votes to approve the resolution, teachers will be banned from teaching the following concepts:

  • Only individuals classified as “white” can be racist because only “white” people control society and ethnic minorities cannot be racist because they do not control society.
  • An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist and/or sexist, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  • Individuals are either a member of the oppressor class or the oppressed class because of race or sex.
  • An individual is inherently morally or otherwise superior to another individual because of race or sex.
  • An individual should be discriminated against based on their race or sex, or receive favorable treatment because of their race or sex.
  • An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past or present by other members of the same race or sex.
  • The preservation of slavery was a material motive for our forefathers seeking independence from England.

While barring promotion of CRT ideologies, the resolution allows teachers to provide instruction that “focuses on the flaws in critical race theory.”


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Adam Trask

For teachers, the knowledge of critical race theory is unimportant, and I doubt many K-12 teachers get into the types of philosophical and sociological arguments which are inherent in the conversation around CRT—by the way, CRT simply posits that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.


When you realize that African Americans, even after nearly 160 years of freedom, still control only about one-tenth of the wealth which is controlled by their white counterparts you get the feeling this is more than simply a theory.


One element of it that is essential for teachers who have groups of minority students, is the realization that they should consider how those minority kids feel when the history of the U.S. is taught and it is simply a litany of stories about white men without mentioning the Black or Asian or Chicano influences on that history.


Not sure it merits this reactionary decision by an ignorant school board.


grumpy

Adam Trask complains that African-Americans only control 10% of the wealth. Considering they only make up 13% of the population,that’s pretty close to where it should be.


Adam Trask

Ever heard of the median? I was actually off by about 2%, but, according to the Brookings Institute, in 2019 the median white household held $188,200 in wealth—7.8 times that of the typical Black household $24,100.


Now, if there wasn’t systemic racism, wouldn’t these numbers be at least somewhat closer to each other. Unfortunately, systemic racism abounds in this country when it comes to education, home ownership, incarceration levels, etc.


This is precisely what CRT is getting at. Unfortunately, too many white Americans deny the existence because they are not racist (and I believe them). They truly think everyone has the same opportunity. I wish it were so.


codysan

There could be other reasons for a wealth gap between races besides racism


Anodyne

Why ban something that isn’t being taught or isn’t being proposed to be taught? It’s performative bullshit, that’s why. What a waste of time.


malovato

I totally agree with you Anodyne… Let’s ban a problem that doesn’t exist. Kind of like, let’s ban all the evidently many hundreds of transexual boy’s from competing in girl’s track. America’s schools have many real issues and “concerned parents” worry about this nonsense. Insane.


ososkid

These are people who think George Washington really cut down a cherry tree, but they don’t think the founders conflict of owning human beings is relevant. Just wait until they learn Washington’s false teeth weren’t made of wood. It’s true he had false teeth, but they were made of real teeth he had pulled from his slaves mouths


codysan

What are you talking about? Have you seen the new required readings for grades 7-12?


derasmus

Wonder who will oppose this action and who (school districts) will follow with similar policies.


Jon Tatro

I’ll give them credit for a common sense move but it’s kind of like saying we aren’t going to allow kids to bring a loaded gun as show and tell.


ososkid

Wait, how exactly is this like bringing guns for Show and Tell?


mazin

Doubt if this article summarizes CRT correctly, since it is not sourced, but rather sets up a straw man to critique. Why not have an article from a competent advocate of CRT? Pretty intellectually weak.

From my perch, the US developed from 2 separate societies, 1) free labor although often indentured for a period of time, and 2) slave labor. There is no hiding this. It was not uncommon in the new world, think Haiti and Brazil. People who were otherwise admirable owned slaves. Leaders and societies have faults. Would rather know the truth rather than myths. If CRT does this then maybe, if it is just another gripe list then no reason to teach it. Unfortunately, this article is just a straw man critique.

Suggest teaching that the civil war was fought to eliminate slavery, 360,000 died fighting for the Union. But the southern large farm owner, often exempt for military service since they were busy keeping the slaves down (a plantation is nothing but a huge farm) wanted to continue to beat, rape, work to death and outright kill their laborers. But unfortunately a variation survived under Jim Crow and various myths such as the “Lost Cause” and “war of northern aggression”, yeppers (THAT is what is taught in some localities) and through race terrorism including VOTING RESTRICTIONS.

Speaking of voting restrictions, why is our increasing nowhere man GOP seeking to make voting onerous, under the ruse of voter fraud, which there is next to none? A little modern Jim Crow? Maybe there is a place for teaching a complete history, warts and all.


RalphKane

CRT in a nutshell = if you’re white, hate yourself, and get ready to open your wallet for grievances, real and imagined


aye-caramba

How have we fallen this far that such intellectual drivel as CRT is even debated by serious scholars? Propaganda by seditious, racist folk bent on destroying rather than enhancing the USA. Good for you Paso.


Justducky

Proud to say that Paso School District is in SLO County! Way to go Paso!


Ben Daho

So, where does it say only whites can be racist? Where were YOU taught this? Do you have 1st hand knowledge? Please share with our community the details. It teaches degradation of Washington and Jefferson? Explain “degradation”


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