A California teachers union, parents and students sued a school board Wednesday over its decision to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) lessons from the classroom.
In December 2022, on the same night new members were sworn in to flip the board majority to conservative, Temecula Valley Unified School Board voted 3-2 to ban CRT curriculums and lessons. The California Education Association (CEA), alongside several parents and students, filed a lawsuit against Temecula Valley School Board alleging that the ban is unconstitutional and “injures children of color and LGBTQ children, stigmatizing their identities, histories and cultures.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: GOP Senators’ New Bill Would Crack Down On ‘Marxist’ Race-Based Lessons In K-12 Schools)
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
Under the adopted CRT resolution, the school board can require educators to teach only a curriculum that has been approved by the board and neither United States law or California law require the teaching of CRT. The resolution states that the board and school district “will not tolerate racism and racist conduct.”
While adopting the CRT ban, the board adopted a resolution condemning racism and noting that any racist conduct will be punished.
Because of the resolution, teachers have faced a fear of teaching about racial inequities and have avoided “using group terms like ‘white,’ the lawsuit alleges. Teachers allegedly believe the resolution has required teachers to “present only one side of historical events,” the lawsuit states.
“As a teacher, my role is to introduce my students to a broad range of viewpoints so they can learn to think critically and form their own opinions about the world,” Dawn Sibby, a Temecula Valley High School teacher, said in a press release. “This ban has created a climate of fear in our classrooms, and it is preventing my students from learning about the history and diversity of our nation. I’m proud to be a plaintiff in this case to fight for my students, who deserve an education not censored by Board members’ ideological beliefs.”
Temecula Unified Valley School Board has recently come under fire after it voted to reject a history curriculum which included a biography on Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom fined the school $1.5 million for rejecting the curriculum, eventually causing the board to move to adopt it.
Parents, lawmakers and school boards have been battling over how race and equity issues should be addressed, following the COVID-19 pandemic; a recently flipped conservative school board in Missouri revoked an anti-racism policy in July that had been adopted after the death of George Floyd in 2020. Last month, a Tennessee teachers union filed a lawsuit against the state challenging a law which prohibits the teaching of CRT in the classroom.
Temecula Valley Unified School District did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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