Witnesses advocate for critical race theory to be taught in schools at Monday hearing – Columbia Missourian

Posted By on August 29, 2021

Lawmakers and Missouri residents discussed critical race theory at a hearing Monday in Jefferson City.

The informational hearing held by the Joint Committee on Education lasted roughly two hours, with seven witnesses testifying about their stances on the hotly debated topic to a panel of lawmakers. Witnesses advocated for critical race theory or supported reinforcing the concepts of diversity, inclusion and equity awareness.

Though similar to a hearing July 19, Mondays hearing included people of color from various backgrounds and statuses. Missouri NAACP President Nimrod Chapel critiqued the fact that no Black people testified at the previous hearing, according to the Missouri Independent.

Of 425 Missouri school districts, three said they used critical race theory or The New York Times' 1619 Project in curricula, according to a July survey by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Most of the witnesses at the hearing held in mid-July were in opposition to the theory. Witnesses at Monday's hearing, including teachers, civil rights leaders and rabbis, took a difference stance.

What children can learn proactively in school today about racism and otherness will minimize its negative impact on the future and lift up all, said Karen Aroesty, previous regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Heartland office.

Critical race theory does not have a concrete definition but focuses on race throughout history, how racism is embedded in our society and the contributions of Black individuals. That includes teaching sections of history that may be skipped over because of racial implications.

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Witnesses advocate for critical race theory to be taught in schools at Monday hearing - Columbia Missourian

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