Hearing on critical race theory in schools veers into sex, religion and supposition

Education officials and others discuss critical race theory and Kansas schools. A Democrat on the Kansas State Board of Education and former lawmaker said Republicans are misinterpreting CRT and using it as a weapon on issues of sexuality, gender, diversity and more.


State News

December 2, 2021 - 9:39 AM

Rep. Patrick Penn, R-Wichita, speaks about the history and application of critical race theory during testimony Wednesday at the Statehouse. Photo by (Screen capture from Legislature live video)

TOPEKA — A state education official told lawmakers Wednesday they need to “stop calling everything under the sun” critical race theory if they want to work together to improve student achievement.

Ann Mah, a Democrat on the Kansas State Board of Education and former state representative, clashed with Republicans during a hearing on how CRT may be infiltrating classrooms in public schools. Mah said CRT has been co-opted for any complaint relating to public schools.

“You can’t just say, ‘Oh my God, they mentioned race, so it must be CRT.’ No, you need to really look at it,” Mah said. “CRT is a graduate level study of institutional racism in the legal system. It has nothing to do with sex. It is what it is. And we’re not teaching it. We are doing, you know, diversity, equity and inclusion. We’re doing social emotional growth. We’re not teaching graduate level legal courses.”

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