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‘Changed the label, same stuff’: Video reveals CRT still being forced on students in Idaho schools

‘Changed the label, same stuff’: Video reveals CRT still being forced on students in Idaho schools

by
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 24, 2022
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
Author Image
March 24, 2022

By: Anna Miller and Kaitlyn Shepherd 

Despite evidence to the contrary, public figures across Idaho continue to perpetuate the narrative that critical race theory (CRT) and other aspects of Critical Social Justice ideology are not being taught in Idaho’s public schools. The State Board of Education President, Kurt Liebech, argued that regardless of the national direction of CRT in education, there is “no indication of anything similar happening in Idaho.” Any legislators who dare call it out are attacked by the media and members of the education establishment in an effort to obfuscate the truth. 

But a new undercover investigation released yesterday by Accuracy in Media shows that public school administrators and teachers continue to force CRT on students regardless of parental wishes or legislative directive.

Accuracy in Media is an organization dedicated to exposing biases and inaccuracies in the news media through investigative journalism and citizen activism. 

The evidence uncovered reveals that school officials are gaslighting parents when they repeatedly deny they are teaching CRT. Instead of cleansing their schools of this divisive ideology, public school administrators are simply renaming this radical pedagogy and continuing to teach it to students.

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is one concept that is being renamed as “mental health curriculum.” SEL is an attempt to cultivate certain attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs in children. The transformative version of SEL is infused with critical race theory and encourages children to embrace ideas such as gender fluidity, anti-white racism, toxic masculinity, white privilege, and the supposedly unjust nature of American society. For example, the State Department of Education reports that at least 21% of Idaho schools implement the anti-racist SEL curriculum known as Second Step. 

In the Accuracy in Media video, Melissa Langan, a chief academic officer in Caldwell School District, stated that she attended a superintendents meeting at which the school officials “were intentional to switch out Social Emotional Learning to behavior adaptations.” 

“Changed the label, same stuff,” Langan said. 

Langan added, “It’s kind of a bummer they have to do that, but at the same time it was kind of brilliant.” The interviewer then asked, “Why can’t we just do that with stuff like critical race theory?” Langan responded “I agree.” 

Cindy Dion, a district instructional specialist in Nampa School District, explained that the district deceives parents by simply claiming, “We’re not doing SEL, it’s all mental health.” She facetiously added, “Of course we don’t do CRT.” 

“We’re just learning how to worm around all those weird things out there,” she said.

Tenets of CRT are now taught and enforced under the guise of “equity.” Mark Jones, an administrator in the Boise School District, explained that the district’s new strategic plan focuses on equity. They have hired a supervisor whose title is World Studies, Social Studies and Equity to further their efforts. Jones commented that he “hopes” conservatives don’t catch on to the fact that equity is the new label for CRT.

Public school officials have responded to opposition to resources like the 1619 Project by using materials that cite them instead of the sources themselves. Dion admitted that the district circumvents public opposition to the 1619 Project by using Newsela, a company that provides online resources to teachers. Newsela’s resources include many CRT and social justice lessons. Dion said she would hide from public officials the supplemental curriculum and resources, such as Newsela’s materials, and only tell them about the official adopted curriculum. 

Adam Guillette, president of Accuracy in Media, says in the video, “The fight to keep critical race theory out of K-12 classrooms is a never ending game of whack-a-mole.” 

Parents must demand transparency from public education institutions. Legislators should ensure that parents can access any and all supplemental and extra curricular materials that are used in schools and presented to students. 

And ultimately, parents must be empowered to choose the educational environment that aligns with their family’s values and serves the unique needs of each student. If legislators want to end political fighting in our public education system and embrace the diversity of ideas and religious plurality of our state’s citizens, then they should pursue school choice. 

Watch the Accuracy in Media video to see the evidence for yourself. 

View Comments
  • Bobby @ says:

    So... Anna Miller cites her source of "evidence" a link to her own opinion piece written with the infamous Scott Yenor? As Goofy would say, "Gawarsh!" That's journalistic integrity right there!

  • Rick Rund says:

    We have Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. Really do not like where the education may be headed.

    • Bobby W says:

      The quality of trustworthiness of this op-ed is probably related to the fact that it's authored by "staff" with no one individual taking credit or, more importantly, blame, for its inaccuracies. Just my $.02, Rick. We'll get through these issues so long as people don't blindly accept op-ed pieces and do the research themselves.

    • Al says:

      Rick, i have raised my kids here and have my first grandchild arriving any day now. I share concerns about Idaho but in a different direction.
      I start by questioning anyone, leftist, or on the right, who attacks another. Burden on the accuser, right?
      And so, let's start with the title of this article. IFF accuses schools of changing the "label". Now, go back through IFF's history, as well as public comments from Moon, Giddings, McGeachin, and others, who have claimed CRT is in K-12 curriculum. More recently, IFF doesnt make this claim. It changed the label from "curriculum" to "pedagogy". I'm guessing 98% of IFF followers dont know the difference, didnt notice the change, or dont care.
      But if a person is accusing someone of changing the label, shouldnt they be innocent of doing the same before we trust them implicitly?
      And i could go on about the substance of the claims themselves, but thats something each reader really ought to do.

  • Simple says:

    (Fact) Race is a human construct.

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    This Mark Jones character is typical of the managerial class elites who try to rule over average Americans. They have done so well at that as a review of the last 50 years of American history can attest. They really are not that bright; they just think they are because they have a paper from a diploma mill such as BSU which says they are. But they do have enormous hatred for Middle Americans.

    People need to push back hard on these smug "email workers" and take back the educational system. If circumstances are such that you have to have your kids in the God awful government "schools", you need to raise hell and demand that intellectual garbage such as CTR is removed from the curriculum. After all, they are your kids, not some chess pieces to be moved around a chess board by overeducated fools such Jones. Otherwise look at options such as charter school, private schools, and homeschooling.

    • Kristi says:

      You could not be more wrong!!!! Mark is a man of integrity, he is honorable, and treats others with dignity and respect. He has devoted his entire life in helping and educating children as a teacher, principal, leader and pastor.

      The problem here is that you are believing a skewed and corrupt report from some “reporter” from Florida to fit into your agenda and beliefs! This report is unfounded and deceitful.

      I am happy to say that I have been married to Mark Jones for 37 years and have watched him lay his life down for children as he truly believes all people have a hope and a future. I will not sit quietly and allow anyone to speak slander against him. You are just wrong.

      • Al says:

        Kristi, I'm sorry they did this to you and Mark. I focused on Dion and Nampa in my comments. The ironically named Accuracy in Media obviously deceived her, hid the camera, but most unethically it, and IFF in this article, take her comments out of context to pretend she said things she really didn't. At one point, they spliced together her saying "No, not yet" as one phrase when it was clearly two statements, perhaps completely unrelated to each other. I have no doubt they misrepresented Mark's statements in the same way.
        How did they identify themselves to Mark? I would love to see the FULL copy rather than snippets they put in the video.

      • Steve says:

        I have a simple question. Does Mark believe in the concepts of CRT? If not, this reporter is off target. If so, this reporter is likely on target. Simple. Your answer to my question with a yes or no answer will point us to a likely reality. Your failure to answer my question with a yes or no answer will do the same.

        • Al says:

          Steve,
          I am filing a public records request on Nampa School District for their SEL materials. Is it surprising McGeachin and her committee haven't done this already? Surprising that IFF hasn't tried it? No. They don't want evidence, which could work against them. They want insinuations, innuendo and opinions, not evidence. I'll seek the truth and get back to you no matter which side it corroborates.

          Until then, here's the description of the SEL program at Lake Ridge Elementary School in NSD, as an example of what's going on there:
          https://lakeridge.nsd131.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1251492&type=u&pREC_ID=1862260

          Query: After taking the time to read about Lake Ridge Elementary's SEL program, How can anyone claim CRT is involved in this? How can anyone dispute that it is a mental health program? IFF and cronies insist that SEL advocates CRT, and people are blindly believing that, so can anyone in good faith argue with NSD's approach of changing the label to disassociate itself with the quagmire that far-right conservative (which I used to be) have made of this?

          • Bobby W says:

            OMG, AL!!!!
            They're teaching kids to "Start an acts of kindness challenge!" in their SEL programs. What kind of Marxist crap are they gonna push next!!!!
            LOL!!!
            You're right, it's 100% mental health oriented. There's nothing about race in there at all!

        • Al says:

          Steve, i have reviewed all SEL materials taught in Nampa's high schools for the past 2 years. None bbn of it contains CRT.
          Not even close, even. Nothing about race anywhere in 2 years of material.
          I did a public records request and had access to all material. Took a day off from work to review it. All so i can honestly account whether it does, or doesnt, have anything to do with CRT.
          It doesnt. And allegations against NSD are not just baseless, are either recklessly defamatory or intentionally misleading. Take yoyr pick as to what level of culpability you want to call IFF, but IFF is clearly wrong
          But dont trust me, check the materials yourself. Staff there complimented me as being the only person who has researched it privately like this, whereas others, like IFF, just make claims without suppirting facts.

    • Rob says:

      100% 👍🏼

      • Bobby W says:

        Read Al's comment about McGeachin. He's 100% correct. She loves to accuse people of "guilt by association" branding her with the white supremacists/anti-semitics she hangs with. But it's the same "guilt by association" reasoning that IFF "proves" that CRT is in Idaho schools' Social Emotional Learning programs.
        This article goes beyond hypocrisy. Slanderous hypocrisy.

        • Al says:

          Where, oh where, is the good doctor, Livingston, on this? He's exhorted us to be good Christians. He's advocated us to use "logic". This article is a clear example of "Do as I say, not as I do".

          In order to promote its agenda of attacking schools and the hard-working innocent administrators, teachers, etc, in our public school system, IFF isn't hesitating to defame them, put words in their mouths, contort logic and misrepresent them. Shameful and desperate.

          I confess several years ago I, as a conservative-oriented person, read Wayne Hoffman's op-eds in the Press Tribune with interest. More often than not agreeing with much of what he said.
          But he's run the IFF from being a think tank with good points to being just a paid gas-lighting organization that will apparently do anything, and say anything, to burn the school system up and to hell with any innocent people harmed in the way.

  • Bee says:

    Apparently the LG believes it:

    https://twitter.com/JaniceMcGeachin/status/1507056215670476842?s=20&t=oY9Dlr8Ajmv4Fu3YIqWxJQ

    Parents need to get their children out of these indoctrination centers at all costs. Give up their daily lattes newer vehicles bigger houses etc. Homeschool! Hillsdale has help.

    • Brad Gee says:

      Didn't McGeachin just send a taped message to the America First Political Action Conference a white nationalist group, tell me again who is indoctrinating who?

    • Bobby W says:

      McGeachin has believed in spending millions of dollars to buy walk-through booths to disinfect us from COVID. It's not like she pauses for an iota of a second to think things through before researching anything or typing something on twitter, let alone proposing something to our legislature.
      But, you know, that's just me. And the rest of reasonable people.

  • Al says:

    IFF’s take on that video is simply wrong. Defamatory, really. I’ll explain by focusing on the “interview” of Cindy Dion from Nampa School District.
    In order make the claims IFF does against Cindy Dion, we must first find 2 facts. Facts, not opinion, mind you. They are:
    1. That CRT is being implemented in the SEL programs in the Nampa School District and
    2. Ms. Dion believes that to be true.
    Only if BOTH are true can IFF claim that Ms. Dion “explained that the district deceives parents…” or that she “facetiously added, ‘Of course we don’t do CRT.’”
    So what does the true evidence show us about the two foundational issues above?
    Well, according to IFF’s “Critical Race Toolkit”, CRT’s “true objective is to re-organize the social, cultural, and legal playing field in a way that claims to reverse ‘historical injustices’ around the issue of race, allegedly without reproducing them.” IFF proposes that Nampa’s SEL program inherently advocates CRT because, under IFF’s opinion (not fact) ALL SEL programs do so. IFF references a bunch of peoples’ opinions on the subject but no specific reference as to Nampa’s materials. Nor any example of implementation of SEL in a way that fits IFF’s own statement about CRT from its Toolkit.
    Let’s say that I argue that libertarianism advocates white supremacy and I give specific examples of self-identifying libertarians who admit to being white supremacists. Would that mean that, by definition, all IFF members are, therefore, white supremacists? No, of course not. But that’s the logic of IFF here.
    There’s no “evidence” of Nampa’s SEL program advocating CRT unless IFF discloses such evidence specific to Nampa. No public records requests made. No mysterious reference to a video watched by some anonymous person, even, like IFF claimed in the famously debunked claims from BSU last year.
    And, as to the 2nd issue, we can see from the video itself that Ms. Dion denies CRT exists in NSD’s SEL programs. She flat-out denied it. So these authors, Miller and Shepherd, are truly defaming Ms. Dion with the intentionally inaccurate representation of what she said and her intention.
    Nampa has maintained long before Ms. Dion’s interview that its SEL program is for mental health. Nampa’s position is not new and removing the label of SEL from it does not change the substance nor the manner in which it’s taught. So what is the REAL reason Nampa is “changing the label”? Because it’s people like Miller, Shepherd, and IFF followers who are “deceiving parents” by insisting that CRT is a part of Nampa’s SEL program. This is clearly what Dion meant when she said “We’re just learning how to worm around all those weird things out there.” The concept that Nampa’s mental health program is, somehow, CRT, is “weird” to her. And, further, although Nampa complies with Idaho law prohibiting CRT, it’s conceivable that this “weird” concept gains ground and legislature expands it to SEL programs. That’s what she meant when she agreed that the “dumb law” doesn’t apply to Nampa – “yet”.
    Let’s put it this way…every time McGeachin gets entangled with white supremacists, she proclaims her accusers practice “guilt by association”. IFF, is she right? Why don’t you practice what she, and you, preach?

    • “Old Friend” says:

      30 state school boards associations have at least distanced themselves from the National School Boards Association

      22 of those states (purple) have decided to discontinue membership, participation, and/or dues because of the NSBA’s actions.

      Source Corey DeAngelis verified Twitter comment.

      What where those actions? This would be a good topic for IFF to prove their own integrity he was a guest of IFF. That should be the least could inform us about because on the map Corey has shown Idaho is one of the States in (purple) this is not a challenge.
      I’m asking to be educated about what those actions where to cause 22 States discontinuation from NSBA?

    • HG says:

      Al , there is evidence linking CRT to SEL. See the links I posted to education sites showing CRT under the SEL umbrella image.
      CASEL/SEL is no stranger to CRT.

      Bottom line... Public education is not the place for anti-America, social justice nonsense. You can teach that to your own kids if you like. Public education is supposed to be about reading writing and arithmetic.

      Let's stop pretending that public educators and administrators are all friendly to freedom, America, and parental authority. Many are not.

      • Al says:

        I have nade arrangements to look at Nampa School District's SEL materials. I filed a public records request and it has responded to my request.
        I do not believe any connection between SEL to CRT in other states proves NSD's program necessarily contains CRT.
        The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
        If it contains CRT material, i will have the intellectual and moral integrity to attest to it. However, I ponder again why IFF is so ready to defame individuals as well as organizations without doing the homework i am willing to do.
        I ask you, HG, as a sampler, did you look at the Lake Ridge Elementary SEL material i posted and see CRT content in it?

      • Al says:

        I reviewed ALL SEL documents in the Nampa School District used in their high schools during the 2020-2021 and the 2021-2022 calendar years. Every page of every weekly lesson plan.
        And I can't more emphatically say this: There is nothing connecting it to CRT in any conceivable way. I looked with an extremely broad view of what might be considered CRT; the outer realms of what people believe it to mean.
        And there was nothing there that comes close.
        Nampa's program of SEL is based on attributes of an effective student. It's no closer to CRT than a Steven Covey book.
        I don't really care what some authors somewhere in the U.S. say about the connection between SEL and CRT - it ain't true in Nampa. I invite any doubters to go and look yourself. I have.

  • HG says:

    Interesting report.

    Bottom line is if the principles of CRT are being taught under another label, then these educators and administrators need to be exposed and it needs to stop.

    The 1619 nonsense is just as destructive. For all the folks who actually believe America is a racist country founded on racism, you're not only wrong, but wrong-headed. America is the best thing to happen to government and to limit government and the results speak for themselves. Freedom as declared and established in our founding documents has proven superior and set the standard for a free and prosperous country. That is why our borders are being illegally crossed by so many from so far. That is why everyone from everywhere wants to be in America.

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