Christian Curriculum

Fairness policy elicits comments



The Douglas County School Board predicted in March that a fairness policy the board envisioned would upset some parents. But maybe the admins underestimated how unhappy some people would be.

“This (fairness) work has been going on for some time, but certainly not at the level of the concern you have expressed tonight. Some of the things you said worried me, I’ll be honest, ”said board chairman David Ray at a May 25 meeting after 30 parents spoke in public comments, mostly to criticize the board of directors and district staff for endorsing Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DCI).

For two hours, community members condemned the district’s new equity policy and its hiring a company to provide teachers with DCI training. As a result, four separate speakers told council they are removing their children, a total of nine students, from the district which serves more than 67,000 students.

“You create more of an environment of division by pushing families like mine out of the school system because you teach children to feel bad or to have preferential treatment based solely on the color of their skin,” said Mother Lora. Wolfe. “I don’t want my children to participate in this absurd experience.”

After years of repeated instances of racism and racial insensitivity at DCSD, an Equity Advisory Council drafted the policy last year to guide the district in creating a more welcoming environment for racial, ethnic minorities. , gender and sexual, both students and staff. The board unanimously adopted the policy at second reading on March 23.

Then, in April, the district finalized a contract with Gemini Group, LLC for the training of DEI personnel. Gemini gave a keynote address and community session at a workshop on April 19.

The fairness policy itself has frustrated some parents in Douglas County, but the Gemini Group has been the last straw for some. According to parents, the politics and hiring of Gemini is proof that the district is teaching students Critical Race Theory (CRT), an academic setting that teaches race is socially constructed. The recent conservative reversion to the idea has led lawmakers in Republican states across the United States to introduce bills banning CRT in public schools.

Superintendent Corey Wise argued that the district does not teach CRT. “We are aligned with Colorado academic standards. Critical breed theory is not within Colorado academic standards for the core curriculum, ”Wise said at the May 25 meeting, ahead of public comment.

However, some parents did not buy it. “Within a week of teaching CRT, I watched my son grow resentful and angry about the assumptions made about him because he happened to be white and male. Diversity won’t work that way, ”said Rachel Kopfle. Kopfle spoke on behalf of a local chapter of No Left Turn in Education, a right-wing organization that “is committed to eradicating subversive indoctrination,” Kopfle said. She did not specify the school district attended by her son.

Kopfle added that dangerous ideologies “are creeping into the neighborhood with terms that resonate well: ‘diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism, social justice’.”

Not all public commentators agreed with the majority. Jeff Culver, a history teacher at Valor Christian High School who has kids at DCSD, said, “A district that approves of this kind of politics that as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus, is a district that I want my kids to date. “

Surabhi Mehrotra, another parent, said: “An equity policy can at least establish a framework to support equal opportunities for all and teach our children empathy, compassion and human dignity.”

Anti-fairness speakers were greeted with applause from the audience in person, while proponents of fairness were greeted with scolding murmurs. At one point, Ray asked the audience to have decorum and be respectful of each speaker.

The meeting ended with little resolution. Ray told the speakers that they gave him and his fellow directors a lot to think about. Kopfle reminded the public during his public comments that the directors to the board are due to be elected in November, suggesting the issue will fuel consternation for months to come.



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