Five public school administrators admitted that they are relabeling critical race theory to avoid Iowa’s state ban on teaching the ideology to kids, according to undercover video footage from Accuracy in Media.
Anthony Ferguson, the executive director for equity, inclusion and diversity at West Des Moines Community Schools told Accuracy in Media that administrators work around the state’s critical race theory ban by relabeling “critical race theory.”
“I think we can do a lot of this work without the label and just do the work, right,” Ferguson said. “I don’t have to call it critical race theory to know what we’re doing.”
Ferguson said that West Des Moines Community Schools implemented an “equity tool” that allows all literature, “even math,” to be taught through an equity lens.
Ryan Williamson, the equity and inclusion coordinator at Urbandale Community School District, similarly told Accuracy in Media that the state’s ban “hasn’t affected us at all.”
“Have we had to shift our language? Absolutely,” Williamson said.
“[The CRT ban] has not stopped us from talking about equity. [The CRT ban] has not stopped us from talking about bias, both implicit [and] explicit bias,” Williamson continued. “It hasn’t stopped us from talking about privilege or what it looks like and sounds like, feels like. And how it shows up in the classroom and how our teachers need to be reflective [of] our own biases. I mean, we’ve done learning in all our buildings surrounding that.”
When asked whether students could learn that “systemic racism is inherent in capitalism,” Williamson said that it’s an appropriate topic for social studies classes because it’s “based in fact.”
“Absolutely. We can say that because that’s [the] truth,” he said. “That’s based in fact.”
Director of Student Equity at Waukee Community School District Lindsay Law also commented on adopting “social-emotional learning,” which is steeped in the tenets of critical race theory.
“One thing I’m really proud of with our social studies curriculum is we have, for K-5, we have just adopted inquirED, which has a foundation in social justice standards. CASEL, so a lot of Social-Emotional Learning,” Law told Accuracy in Media.
The administrator also said that the district relabeled words such as “privilege” and changed them to “circumstance” to quash parents’ concerns. Law said that Waukee Community School District also uses Learning for Justice, an educational tool created by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Associate Superintendent at Johnston Community School District Nicki Roorda dubbed teaching critical race theory a “game that we play.” The Director of Teaching and Learning at Saydel Community School District Mary Salazar appeared to mock parents who were concerned about critical race theory-inspired ideology being taught to their kids.
Accuracy in Media’s President Adam Guillette told the Daily Caller that critical race theory bans are ineffective against the predations of life-long administrators.
“It’s overwhelmingly clear that public education is broken,” Guillette said. “Critical race theory bans are a poor bandaid on a massive wound. The only remedy is school choice.”
“These administrators are lifers. They aren’t going anywhere,” Guillette continued. “They don’t care what the school board tells them. They don’t care what politicians tell them.”
West Des Moines Community Schools, Urbandale Community School District, Waukee Community School District, Johnston Community School District, and Saydel Community School District did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.