“Moves to Silence Critical Race Theory Have Only Amplified its Virtues.”

According to Shannon Prince, a lawyer at Boies Schiller Flexner, and a legal commentator, “Moves to silence critical race theory have only amplified its virtues.

As Douglass taught us, the knowledge that is forbidden to us is the knowledge that frees us. The instruction that we are told is unsafe, leads only to mischief and that is being made unlawful – that instruction is liberating. It offers the direct pathway to freedom. The proof of the revolutionary power of education that examines racism with candor and courage lies in the determination of those who seek to keep our children in ignorance. And that very determination should render us all the more resolute in seeking intelligence for them and for ourselves.

You can’t change a system you don’t know exists. And that’s why these legislators are enacting these ‘peculiar rules.’ They don’t want our children to know. They don’t want things to change.

But their plan backfired.

This time last year, systemic racism was an obscure concept. Thanks to the legislators banning it, it’s now a topic of popular conversation.”

In Indian River County, Florida the debate over selection on K-5 curriculum has been hotly debated at a series of school board meetings over the last three months and by a June 21, 2021 town hall meeting, with over 60 people, led by conservative Vero Beach activist Susan Mehiel.

At issue was the proposed selection of a curriculum for the 2021 – 2022 academic year developed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Boston, Massachusetts, which the group believes contains lessons based on “Social Emotional Learning” and “Critical Race Theory,” and how those concepts would indoctrinate students.

Several weeks ago, the Florida Board of Education effectively banned the concept of critical race theory from classroom discussions when it enacted tougher guidelines on how teachers deliver U.S. history, civics and government lessons. 

Critical Race Theory puts forth the idea that racism is embedded in U.S. society and institutions.

Ms. Mehiel and other conservative activists advocated for the selection of another curriculum from Amplify Education Inc., of Brooklyn, NY. 

Unfortunately, however, for these activists, the Florida Department of Education had rejected the Amplify curriculum. Though they had approved the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt curriculum.

Amplify appealed the state board’s rejection of its K-5 curriculum, which was supported by School Board member Teri Barenborg and conservative political activist Ms. Mehiel.

Amplify’s appeal was successful and it was announced on July 2, 2021 that the School District had chosen the Amplify curriculum, which will be utilized by students and teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2021 – 2022 school year.

It is worth noting that on June 10, Jack Lynch, CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt wrote to the School Board Chair of Collier County, Naples, FL that “Unequivocally HMH’s program neither contains nor teaches Critical Race Theory, nor is Critical Race Theory embedded in HMH’s K-5 instructional materials…HMH does not advocate for any particular ideology, political organization or agenda.  Our aim is simply to help teachers teach and students learn.”

It is also worth noting that Amplify’s “Commitment,” as displayed as a vital component of their business on their homepage, is as follows”  

“Our commitment:

Our goal is to make education, and thereby the world, more equitable.

We create education products that celebrate difference in life and thought as well as ideals we may hold in common.

We help teachers craft rigorous learning experiences that reflect the diverse histories, cultures, and identities their students bring to the classroom. 

We also help teachers support their students in constructing, questioning, expanding, and strengthening knowledge of where they come from and who they are becoming.

To do this, we hire and develop people with the broadest range of talents, life stories and experiences, and together we build a diverse and inclusive culture.”

Then we found these posts:

Let’s see what happens and how the teachers and parents respond to the new curriculum.  They are the change agents.

8 thoughts on ““Moves to Silence Critical Race Theory Have Only Amplified its Virtues.”

  1. Your comments and quotes here are perfect examples of what we found when we started peeling back the layers of the education industry onion…billions of dollars in corporate profits gained through doing the bidding of the progressive education elites. We researched all of the national trends and found ‘experts’ from academia to foundations to hundreds of NGO’s, all living off of “other people’s money” and deciding what they think is best for our kids. The School Superintendents Association had the audacity to say they had a plan to “save the Republic.”
    Our team of education experts including parents found corporate statements from all of the FL approved publishers touting their commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), which is no surprise since they know where their bread is buttered. Their profits, purely tax dollars, are funneled right back into the coffers of education-related organizations like the FL School Boards Assn, FL School Superintendents Assn and Education Week, a national news outlet. It’s an industry.
    More importantly, our team of experts spent hours poring over the actual publishers’ materials at the district offices and online. They reviewed all four of the state approved packages and Amplify’s. They found the HMH curriculum steeped in CRT and Social Emotional Learning from kindergartners encouraged to discuss police relations, politics and immigration to 4th graders reading stories about mean, white authority figures who persecute Hispanic and black children. Amplify was far better is this regard and many others.
    Even more damaging for HMH, our education experts including 3 retired teachers, found that the scope and sequencing of their reading and writing teaching methods for Kindergarten and First graders were poorly devised. Our ELA specialist determined the nature of the lessons for word recognition and usage would actually set some students back in learning to read and write.
    And many of us spent long hours presenting our findings to the school board, local legislators, and FL DOE representatives. We also spent hours in a hearing where we outlined our concerns and challenged the HMH selection. Our examples have been out there for everyone to see including our critics and none mention the Civil War.
    We were worried about the corporate statements from all of the companies particularly when you consider the fact the district contracts with the company for five years and who knows what messaging will appear in their teaching modules like digital materials and supplemental assignments. There wasn’t time to request the district go outside the state recommendations, so we endorsed the curriculum we knew they also approved – Amplify.
    Let me be clear – we have NEVER said American History, all of it, should not be taught. Like the state statutes which we followed in our curriculum review, we want everything taught accurately, age appropriately and without bias. We did not make this review process political or racial, but others did. The media call us “conservative activists who don’t want slavery taught” in order to slant our opinions. We are local community members advocating for quality education for all children.

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  2. Where do I begin! First, let’s state that Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) aren’t new concepts and theories, they are simply new names for old concepts and theories. For those who don’t believe these aren’t damaging, simply look at the responses to “man on the street” segments, which can be found on youtube, rumble, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. The majority of college students and young adults have no clue who America fought in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, who started World War II, where it was fought (clue – WORLD WAR), or what any of these were about.

    May of these individuals, who graduated from high school and college, can’t name the sitting Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader, Secretary of State or Defense, and other Cabinet members. Many don’t recognize past or present Presidents or Vice Presidents of the United States. Heaven forbid they are asked to name the branches of the military. What about the 1st, 2nd, 10th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution? You guessed it – the majority have no clue.

    The above facts are important to the citizenry of the United States because it helps them appreciate, if nothing else, what a GREAT and UNIQUE constitutional republic our founding fathers left to us. Citizens should know the levels of government, who their elected officials are, what their role is, why we have the form of government we have, and so forth. And – why our founding fathers took it upon themselves to risk life and liberty for our Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. How many know there are writings known as The Federalist Papers? These facts do matter!

    As Ms. Mehiel stated, those of us in IRC aren’t opposed to teaching civics and history, but we want ALL of history to be taught – the good, bad, and ugly. There is no perfect country or nation and we are no exception. However, WE ARE EXCEPTIONAL!

    Another fact to point out is the manipulation of word use. The words “equity, civic engagement, and social justice” all sound good, but how are they being used. My father used to tell me “wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets full the quickest.” This relates in that what one hopes to achieve versus what one actually does to achieve are not the same and will not have the same impact or affect. That’s why words have meaning and how they are used matters.

    The fact that curriculum doesn’t state “critical race theory” in it doesn’t mean the tenets of Marxism aren’t there. And yes, CRT is derived from Marxism and those who promote socialism. Also, the words used are not only in civics and history courses, but words linked to Marxism are found in other courses such as English Language Arts (ELA), math, philosophy, business, technology, etc.

    Using SEL, another tentacle of CRT, in all these subjects promotes an environment based on feelings, not learning. Teaching children what and how to feel is not the job of the education system. Bottom line is children MUST first and foremost learn to master reading as this is a foundational skill necessary to realize success.

    Lastly, all of the recommended curriculum have their downsides as they are all supported by big government, big business, big tech, big union, and big finance. Given this collaboration, they have the ability to sway the narrative in any direction they choose. Yet, it is WE THE PEOPLE that have the ability to push back on what we determine to be harmful and detrimental to the learning environment of our children. CRT and SEL are harmful, do not allow a focus on learning the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, and shuts down or rather sucks out the creativity from children and teachers to build the necessary knowledge and drive to obtain individual aspirations and goals based on God given talents and gifts.

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  3. . Ditto Susan Mehiel and Karen Hiltz, I agree wholeheartedly and commend and support you for your knowledge, patriotism and courage to fight the good fight. Evil prevails when good men do nothing, it seems to be ongoing. NEVER GIVE UP!
    Sincerely,
    Rosemarie B. Wilson

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  4. Great work, ladies-Susan, Karen, Rosemarie!

    Can we consider this idea that responsible, tax-paying citizens’ speaking OUT and standing UP for their own children is not a new concept!?? Mr. Hardy labels us as “activists”? So, that means every animal in nature that tries to protect its progeny from harm is an ACTIVIST? How absurd! To accuse us of wanting to keep our children in ignorance is appalling!

    According to Mr.Hardy, “This time last year racism was an obscure concept”. Really? It was this time in 2007 that it was obscure. And who raised it up into a blazing inferno? One guess.

    What is wrong with teaching true history-ALL OF IT! Ours is the only country ever to go to war over slavery. That is a good thing! Do any students know that Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist just like the Nazis in WWII -mainly of the black population? SHE started Planned Parenthood and has been quite successful. A greater percentage of the black community choose abortion. Never hear BLM being concerned about this.

    Concerning blaming political parties for systemic racism the Democrat Party are experts in re-writing history. Read “1984”. Examples:

    1- KKK was a Democrat organization. US Senator Robert Byrd was a recent member. No one seemed to care- why not?
    2- Eugenics-already mentioned.
    3- The much-maligned McCarthy Era. McCarthy was right.
    4- “Rules for Radicals” and Bill Ayers’ writings are worshipped by Democrats. Their tactics are insidious and destructive.

    Lastly, I would like to add that my use of “Democrat” was historical, but TODAY the party has morphed into a Marxist organization. Many good Democrats have changed their party affiliation. Why? Will THAT be in our history textbooks 50 years from now?

    I believe you can now see that we “conservative radicals” are not going away.

    Ever.

    Chris Kebbel
    Sebastian, FL

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  5. Lord have mercy on the ignorant. Racism is so deep in this country some cannot see over their own nose. Shame on all of them. Go visit a death camp in Germany and see how they remember the atrocities perpetrated on the Jews. German students go to the camps as part of their curriculum not to make them feel “guilty” or “shame” but so history doesn’t repeat itself. Stop the divisive behavior.

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  6. What this has to do with teaching kids about their whiteness and white privilege, about how their racism is passed down through generations and how black/brown people will always be victims of the white oppressors is beyond me. No one ever said don’t teach about slavery or what happened to the native Americans. Why you have to bring Germany and Jews into your comment is very revealing…about you.

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    • Referring to how the Germans handle their history compared to how we do in the US is the point. The fact that so many white people have a problem with being reminded the Civil War was fought over the ownership of human beings is troublesome. Most blacks don’t seem to mind that educators want to share their history.

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      • Actually we all remember that, just as we remember how many white and black/brown people died to win the Civil War….although the war was fought for a number of other reasons, but we won’t dwell on the facts. We also remember how many white and black/brown people died to stop the German’s from taking over all of Europe. We remember how many AMERICANS have died around the world stopping Communism, tyranny and slavery in all forms. It all shows how exceptional America is and ALL of it’s citizens are. That’s what we want taught to all students.

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