Michiana schools respond to claims of teaching Critical Race Theory

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 6:28 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Several Michiana schools are speaking out after a Fox News report claims they’re deceiving parents by teaching Critical Race Theory.

Goshen, Elkhart, and Fairfield Community School administrators were identified in this report, and their administrations are telling us this isn’t the full story.

School officials say there’s a lot of context missing from these deception claims, including an explanation of what Critical Race Theory is.

The person who fronted that story on Fox said they didn’t get a response from these schools when they reached out, but we did.

Fairfield Community Schools' full response.
Fairfield Community Schools' full response.(FCS)

Fairfield Community Schools say “We do not teach Critical Race Theory under that name or any other name”.

Responding directly to the video they said, “Some may attempt to mischaracterize this approach as nefarious or conspiratorial; we simply call it the golden rule” in reference to what they do teach their students.

Elkhart Community Schools released a statement saying, “The promotion of CRT has no place in this important work as stated in a CRT statement adopted by the Board in July 2021.”

In that board-approved CRT statement, they say they align with Indiana Department of Education curriculum standards, and specifically the Employability Skills standards which list Social Emotional Skills as one of its four key areas.

Their assistant superintendent confirmed they’re not teaching CRT when asked during the video. He also confirmed they teach “tenents” of the study. However, there’s nothing stopping schools from teaching this. The bill that would have created limits for this failed in the state legislature last year.

The full statement from Goshen Community Schools.
The full statement from Goshen Community Schools.(GCS)

Lastly, Goshen Community Schools says they were the ones being deceived saying “a GCS administrator was secretly filmed under the guise of a couple posing as parents interested in enrolling their children in Goshen Community Schools.”

They said “This interview was edited and took the administrator’s comments out of context. What was not included in the video was an emphatic statement that Goshen Community Schools does not teach CRT.”

Goshen and Elkhart decided to put the assistant superintendents appearing in the video on administrative leave while they look into this incident.

Critical Race Theory is defined as aiming to explain the historical patterns of racism that are ingrained in law and other modern institutions, and that the legacies of racism in America create an uneven playing field for people of color.

Examples of this framework being used in K-12 curricula are very rare, and they’re more often seen in graduate-level college courses.

The latest attempt to limit teaching CRT in schools comes in the form of Senate Bill 368. That bill had it’s first reading back in January.

Elkhart Community Schools also called on the group that produced this story, Accuracy in Media, to release the complete interview footage in order for the full context to be understood.