State governments in places like Florida, Virginia, and Arkansas are leading the fight against the use of race and sex to divide the country. These are welcome steps. But on the other side of the ledger, you have states like Michigan. There, the public schools are going in exactly the opposite direction.
Take Detroit, for example. Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti admitted that the schools are “deeply using critical race theory.”
Critical race theory is a body of work that teaches that racism is “systemic” in America. The teaching of this theory and its tenets in schools has been rejected by the likes of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Virginia counterpart, Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Vitti insists, however, that critical race theory will help Michigan students and that these students should understand systemic racism. Yet this type of curriculum encourages divisiveness rather than promoting family and American values.
Another example is in Livingston County. Mona Shand, a top aide to Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, sits on a “diversity council” that lobbies for teaching critical race theory within local schools.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, the council’s website bio for Shand was recently edited to remove references to Slotkin, changing from “Livingston County Representative for Rep. Elissa Slotkin” to “civic leader.” The council also removed a call to action for parents to advocate for critical race theory because of increasing pressure from parents who were upset with the potential for it to be included in the curriculum.
The current vice president of the Michigan State Board of Education, Pamela Pugh, is also pushing the divisive rhetoric. She is currently fighting Michigan Senate Bill 460, which would strip 5% of school funding for teaching the derivatives of critical race theory, while at the same time maintaining that critical race theory is not being taught in Michigan schools. She said that this legislation would confuse educators.
Pugh said to state legislators: “I go further to call on this body and your colleagues to embrace critical race theory as a framework for you to better understand educational inequality and structural racism so as to find solutions that lead to justice for all who live, work, learn, and play in Michigan.”
According to Michigan’s school code, the state requires that every school district provide education without discrimination as to religion, creed, color, or national origin. For a school to provide materials and opportunities in favor of one race over another would be discriminatory and violate that code.
Teaching true history is not about indoctrinating our children to the canard that this country is “systemically racist.” True history is teaching from an accurate lens that does not seek to persuade the students to adopt a political fad.
Critical race theory is, of course, not the only leftist fad affecting schools across the country and in the Great Lakes State.
At Gull Lake Community Schools in Michigan, teachers are promoting LGBTQ issues on social media platforms to students. A first-grade teacher in the district shared an image on Twitter that warned that children must have access to LGBTQ books and that those who do not promote them are guilty of discrimination.
Taxpayer dollars should not be used to promote gender ideology material or material that persuades a child to think that America is racist. Embracing an ideology that perpetuates division is not healthy for a school system. Threatening school districts that they must teach children about gender theory to further a political narrative is wrong for the district and its students.
There are some remedies, though. For example, public school officials in Michigan should publicize the course materials (syllabi, titles of assigned books, homework lessons, and in-class assignments) online. This would provide transparency for parents.
Additionally, schools need to return to teaching the values that America was founded upon, such as the fundamental principle that all men are created equal, which is the opposite of critical race theory. How are we going to appeal to tomorrow’s generation when we fall short of promoting American values?
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal