Idaho education officials are being dishonest when they say there’s no evidence of leftist indoctrination in our public schools and universities. They’re also being dishonest when they claim that the newly-signed House Bill 377 prevents critical race theory from being taught.
The legislation is certainly helpful. It says that students can no longer be compelled to “personally affirm, adopt, or adhere” to a doctrine of hate that is embodied in critical race theory. Despite media reports to the contrary, the new law does not ban teaching CRT, nor does it ban teachers from being trained in how to treat some students as victims of systemic racism.
As the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Anna K. Miller discovered, so-called “culturally responsive teaching” is baked into Idaho’s rules for teacher certification. Those rules might explain why Idaho’s teacher certification requirements demand educators promote social justice. It probably also explains why some schools in Idaho are openly recruiting teachers who are social justice warriors.
The alphabet soup of education lobby organizations in Idaho—the ones running around claiming there’s nothing to see here when it comes to indoctrination—have been steeped in this stuff for years.
The Idaho Education Association labor union has for years hosted workshops on the idea that our schools are hotbeds of “institutional racism.” The union promised the National Education Association a few years ago that it would “train and educate” teachers “to become active racial and social justice advocates.”
The NEA has held the Idaho Education Association as a poster child for what it takes to combat systemic racism, noting that the union has made promises that it would hold racial awareness trainings, build book lists for classrooms, curriculum, and libraries, and to have their ideas incorporated into school policies and negotiations.
During the school year that’s underway, Idaho teachers continued to hold workshops on social justice, in which they talked about how to infuse critical race theory and culturally responsive training into Idaho classrooms. Such trainings included materials from the radical left’s Southern Poverty Law Center and its “Learning for Justice” project.
Caught in the middle are our teachers, many of whom don’t want to have anything to do with this leftist garbage. These teachers are good people who simply want to teach kids to read, write, and do math. Most teachers say they’re being drowned out and silenced by special interest groups and a government education system that has been building to this point for many years.
The consequence is that many kids go to school to learn that they should hate America. Students are being taught that our institutions are racist and that certain people are privileged and others are disadvantaged. They’re being taught that children need to judge others based on the color of their skin. They’re told that they’re either a “victim” or an ”oppressor.” They go home with the knowledge that they are part of the problem.
House Bill 377 is a start, but it clearly is not enough. Idaho parents, teachers, and students need more help. They need the state Legislature to step up. Lawmakers need to go all the way and put an end to the leftist indoctrination happening in our schools.