Congressman Byron Donalds says critical race theory does not belong in schools

One school district says a critical race theory is not a part of their curriculum, and a Southwest Florida congressman said he’ll make sure it stays that way.

Critical race theory is an academic concept that seeks to examine U.S. law as it intersects with issues of race.

Parents in Collier County joined Rep. Byron Donalds, who represents Collier County in Congress, as he spoke Tuesday about critical race theory at Collier County Public Schools. The State of Florida banned the teaching of critical race theory in schools this year.

While it’s banned and the Collier school district said it doesn’t teach it, Donalds said the point of Tuesday’s press conference was to make sure the school district knows it’s being watched by the community.

“And unfortunately, what we’ve seen is critical race theory has crept into too many institutions in our country,” Donalds said.

Donalds said he was not accusing the school district of teaching it.

“What I’m here to do is to make sure that CCPS understands that there are many constituents that are going to be paying attention to what goes on, not only in the administrative building but also in the classrooms in our district,” Donalds said.

But a few people who showed up accuse the school district of teaching it.

“We do have in Collier County, we have different components of critical race theory occurring in the classroom,” said Diane Van Parys. “We ought to be spending our money on the right things for equality for all students.”

The Southwest Florida Chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice called the panic around critical race theory as “purposefully crafted.”

“It’s a non-issue,” said Laura Angelus, who is with the group. “It’s a buzzword of the moment for certain groups of people but we should still teach accurate history and not be afraid to discuss racism in schools.”

Donalds also attacked diversity, equity, and inclusion seminars, which he said are a way to bring critical race theory into schools.

Donalds said he would like to see Black history taught year-round instead of only during Black History Month.

Collier County schools said, “critical race theory is not and will not be a part of the district curriculum and teaching and learning framework.”

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
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