JCPS seems to be gearing up to fight back against the anti-critical race theory movement.
A draft legislative agenda for the school system says, under the category of “Equity,” that it would oppose state legislation “that would ban or limit the teaching of historically accurate facts.” And, it would support legislation that works “toward increasing culturally relevant curriculum in schools, with emphasis on expanding curricula beyond Euro-centric perspectives.”
Already, there are pre-filed bills in the legislature that ban some discussions of race in the classroom.
There is also a bill that JCPS might support if it adopts its proposed legislative agenda: State Rep. Attica Scott has pre-filed a bill that would require that the history of racism be taught in schools.
JCPS’ draft legislative agenda says it will also oppose bills that “infringe on student’s First Amendment rights.”
Already, some of JCPS classes that address race are under fire. Someone complained to the legislature’s Office of Education Accountability this year about a JCPS elective. In an email to the school, the office’s acting director mentioned a Developing Black Historical Consciousness class and the school’s voluntary Introduction to Pan-African Studies class.
JCPS’ Developing Black Historical Consciousness class for high schoolers was added last year. The Pan-African Studies elective began this school year.
About the complaint against the courses, UofL’s Pan-African Studies Department Chair Ricky Jones said in a Tweet, “Eurocentric supremacy in American education is REAL! It is a prison house and many in KY want to keep the shackles wrapped tightly. You can’t! Curriculum reform is A MUST!”
Jones, who has helped teach JCPS’ Pan-African Studies course, previously told LEO that the legislature’s anti-CRT bills also threaten his UofL department.
One of the anti-CRT bills, introduced by Rep. Matt Lockett, prohibits public schools from teaching that:
- An individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex, or religion, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, sex, or religion
- An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, sex, or religion
- Meritocracy or traits such as hard work ethic are racist, sexist or oppressive, or were created by members of a particular race or religion to oppress members of another race or religion
- One race, sex or religion is inherently superior to another race, sex or religion
- An individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex or religion, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously
- An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race, sex, or religion
- Members of one race, sex, or religion cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, sex, or religion
- An individual’s moral character is determined by his or her race or sex
With the politicization of critical race theory, have come crowds of disruptive people to JCPS school board meetings. But, this doesn’t seem to have deterred the school board.
The board will vote on whether or not to accept the draft legislative agenda at a future meeting.
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