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Idaho public school teachers defend pushing critical race theory on students

Idaho public school teachers defend pushing critical race theory on students

Anna Miller
June 25, 2021
Anna Miller
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June 25, 2021

Parents and teachers across the country are denouncing critical race theory as racist indoctrination of innocent children. Idaho public officials, however, consider their conservative state to be immune to the progressive education movement, arguing “It's not happening here.”

Meanwhile, 14 Idaho public school teachers are defending pushing CRT on students.

The Zinn Education Project created a national petition that has collected thousands of signatures from teachers pledging to violate state laws that ban critical race theory in public schools, including 14 signatures (and counting) from Idaho teachers.

The petition states that Idaho’s law aims “to prohibit teachers from teaching the truth about this country: It was founded on dispossession of Native Americans, slavery, structural racism and oppression; and structural racism is a defining characteristic of our society today.”

Opponents of Idaho’s law, like the teachers who signed Zinn’s petition, will argue that these laws will hurt efforts intended to address racism. Of course, even critical race theorists themselves will tell you that CRT is actually about discriminating against white people and rejecting the Civil Rights movement.

According to Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, CRT is “unlike traditional civil rights discourse” in that it “questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law.”

For example, Robin DiAngelo has claimed that it is “dangerous” to treat people equally regardless of their race.

Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist and perhaps the most influential critical race theorist, has argued the discrimination against white people is a positive social good. For example, Kendi wrote, “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

CRT indoctrination is already largely illegal under federal law. But as more public schools have become captivated by this radical ideology, Idaho legislators had to go further and protect students from racial discrimination and enforce the principles of the Civil Rights Act.

Idaho’s law does not prohibit or restrict ideas or what gets taught. It is the most lenient bill on CRT in the country and focuses on students’ rights under the First Amendment and Civil Rights Act. The law says, “No public institution of higher education, school district, or public school, including a public charter school, shall direct or otherwise compel students to personally affirm … that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin is inherently superior or inferior; that individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin.” Nor can educational institutions use public money to do so.

Do teachers opposing this law want schools to be in the business of teaching race essentialism, collective guilt, racial superiority, and discriminatory treatment of some children by denying them equal protection of the law? Where are the teachers who will stand against indoctrination in Idaho’s public schools? If there are any teachers opposing this abhorrent form of discrimination in Idaho schools, it’s time to speak out.  

Parents need to start paying attention and identify teachers who are dedicated to standing up for student’s rights. Teachers should support education—not indoctrination.

Teachers who signed Zinn’s petition

Here’s a list of the teachers who have signed Zinn’s petition and what they wrote in defense of CRT indoctrination: 

  1. Katy Hopkins, Pocatello: “The kids are the future and they need to be armed with the truth”
  2. Joanne Klein | Boise: “If it isn’t messy, it isn’t history.”
  3. Dolly Higgins | Boise: “The truth matters - and it’s the only way forward.”
  4. Alexa McConville | Blackfoot: “Telling schools they can have more money if they pledge to not teach race theory is the reason Idaho ranks so low in education. It’s embarrassment. It. Is. Racist.”
  5. Melissa Young | VICTOR: “Students not only deserve to learn true history, but our future is these students using their voices as global citizens to make our world a better place.”
  6.  Jenn Siegel | Boise
  7. Edwin Keener | Boise: “We must know truth as it happened. Truth does not diminish white people.”
  8. Kristina Batalden | Idaho Falls “I believe in teaching the truth.”
  9.  Megan McMinn | Lewiston, ID “We need to know better to do better.”
  10.  Julie Gill | Boise: “I object to Idaho and other states trying to censor teachers. It's unconstitutional.”
  11. Katharine Schell | Nampa: “Children deserve to know our history and how to prevent it from happening again. Knowledge is power.”
  12. Mackenzie Smith | Meridian: “I never learned about Japanese Internment camps in high school even though I live 2 hours from Minidoka. Japanese internment camps are finally in our standards and my students learned about it this year. They appreciate not being lied to, and like me, they know when they have been deceived. we will not go back. I will not lie to my students. I will continue to teach the truth, if you want to teach the kids some twisted version of history be my guest — you make 40k before taxes & insurance in Idaho. Good luck. Until then, my students will learn the truth.”
  13.  Susan Whipple | Boise: “The only way to make the country a better place is to teach the truth. We have to make students critically think and make decisions for themselves once they have the facts.In memory of George Floyd and Richard Greene and all the others who have perished at the hands of lynch mobs.”
  14.  MariLana Buck | Pocatello: “I refuse to lie to my students. I will teach the truth.”

If you're an Idaho teacher who opposes teaching critical race theory to students and would like to speak out, please email [email protected]

View Comments
  • Dan Foreman says:

    Oh really? Let me say this. Any Idaho public school teacher who violates Idaho State Code by ignoring the legal prohibition on forcing CRT on our students should be fired and prosecuted under the law. I am sick and tired of these liberal hypocrites lying to our students and brainwashing them in the ways of liberalism. Liberal teachers infest our public school system and make every attempt to push their skewed ideologies on the students by presenting their warped concepts as gospel truth. Liberal ideologies have severely damaged many young minds and are the antithesis of truth. The liberal public schools are miserably failing at their charter task of educating youth. But they are doing a bang up job of filling young student minds with immoral garbage meant to indoctrinate, control and steer youngsters into the dysfunctional and godless world of modern liberalism. All hail the three false gods of the modern liberal: Secular Humanism, Big Government and The Environment. It is time to clean up our schools.

  • Rick Rund says:

    Whatever happened to "these are the requirements needed to teach in Idaho. You don't follow them and you will be immediately terminated."
    I am sure if you work for an employer, an organization they have standards that must be met, otherwise you are gone. That is how it was at one time. Now too many are afraid of offending someone.

  • Janice says:

    It’s really sad that we are so far away from the old ways. The ways that inspired students and were moral and good. These comments these teachers are making are nothing more than following new “modern” ideas which are
    actually old as time itself, inspired by the master of deceit and confusion himself, the devil. This is wrong.

    • Al says:

      The good old days, as in before Brown vs. Board of Education? 🙂

    • Al says:

      Can an Idaho teacher speak BOTH the truth about our past and NOT utilize CRT? I think so. If you don't agree, then what part of that question are you trying to suppress: CRT or the truth?

      Suppress CRT methods and let them teach the truth. Right? If you don't agree, then are you trying to suppress truth?

      According to Anna Miller's description of CRT, it's about "discriminating against white people and rejecting the Civil Rights movement."

      So, let's allow teachers to speak the truth and not do it in a way that discriminates against white people. Who can argue with that? It's not only completely possible to do so but, I'll submit, teachers are doing so already and that's why they're pushing back.

      Read through their statements people, and ask yourselves: Are those teachers advocating discrimination against white people or rejecting the Civil Rights movement? Statement #4 is the only one that mentions "race theory" at all. #7 upholds what I'm saying, "truth does not diminish white people" - in other words, that teacher properly disclaims CRT being a part of what he's teaching.

      I'm not arguing on behalf CRT. I'm just sayin keep the argument AT CRT. And don't throw everything into the mix that isn't actually CRT. Slavery happened. Dispossession of Native Americans happened. We can go on.

      I don't know if there's anything we can, or should, presently do about that, but teachers are feeling like they can't even touch the subject of factual history anymore. Which is devastating for our school children.

      • Charles Burke says:

        There can be NO compromise with the fertile minds of our future leaders.
        unless of course you want to teach the whole truth. You know:

        -that slave's were traded by their own kinsman for trinkets.
        -The slave trade was world wide.
        -Why we dont see English or French slave descendants demanding justice?
        - That political agenda ad manipulaation has created a divided nation and an entitlement mentality in individuals willing to be "given" a fish every day, rather than learn to fish.

        its history, we dont need crt to teach History.

  • Keara says:

    STAND UP AND FIGHT! Do NOT presume anything. Idaho needs to be at the FOREFRONT and we are not. Do you know what that says? That says that our leaders are becoming compliant. Personally, I’m not gonna wait for Idaho to turn into Virginia. My flight starts now.

  • Lana M Galbraith says:

    Fire every one of them that teaches their beliefs and not the "truth", starting with George Floyd the career criminal!

    • Brad Gee says:

      The statement above, is why CRT should be taught.

      • Idahoan says:

        George Floyd was a criminal.

        • Al says:

          Agreed. Past tense. He's now a murdered criminal. According to a jury of Officer Chauvin's peers who unanimously decided so beyond a reasonable doubt - the most stringent standard applied in the world.

      • Beserker says:

        Glorifying criminals is the surest way to bring everyone together!? Crime has become the new black entitlement! Prove me wrong!

      • Al says:

        I'm perplexed by what Galbraith even means by the statement, Brad. Ok, let's call him a career criminal, for sake of argument. So....Idaho teachers are teaching otherwise????
        We all need to pump the brakes, educate ourselves on what is, and isn't, CRT, and compare that to what is ACTUALLY BEING TAUGHT in Idaho schools rather than claiming anything that tangentially has something to do with race must be CRT and throw it under the bus along with CRT.
        I've taught in an Idaho school system and it's baffling to me that statements such as slavery existed and was an important part of our history somehow gets swept into the CRT hysteria and condemned as a belief rather than the truth.
        And, when I say "educate ourselves", that means from a variety of sources, not just the ones that support your pre-suppositions.

  • toni says:

    The sad part is they think this is "Truth" and it is nothing but lies. They need to go back to school and educate themselves on our history. I am sure they will be very surprised at the lies they have been sold. No critical thinking out of our teachers.

    • Al says:

      The only historical remark made in any of the comments by the teachers quoted by Anna Miller is that Japanese internment camps existed.
      Are yoy rejecting that as historical fact?
      Or just making a sweeping, baseless, generalization about teachers? What untruths, specifically, are you alleging theyre making. Be specific, please, if you can.

      • Brian says:

        They signed a petition to push Critical Race Theory, so it can be assumed they agree with it and the lies it contains. No one I've ever met said internment camps aren't true, and there are teachers all over Idaho teaching about them already, and have been for decades. We also teach Martin Luther King, whose every ideal is opposed by CRT.

  • Dave says:

    Provide the contact info for all these marxists and let the public of Idaho let them know what they think of their b.s. Parents of children in those schools should refuse to allow their children in those classrooms. If their classroom is empty, they don't have a job.

  • Mark Hand says:

    Great article. and I am glad you identified the radicals by name. Yes, it's a free country, but we have every right to call them out, by name & district, if they choose to do things that have adverse effects on our children's development and the health of our communities. I would go so far as to say this is an issue of national security.

    • Dennis Kachelmier says:

      Right on. If a teacher violates Idaho Code, they are violating the Code of Ethics for teachers, and could be brought to termination.

  • Mark Mathews says:

    I no longer have children in school but would strongly support a Lawsuit against any teacher violating state law. I will support with dollars and time, I have both! On a side note I will support the most conservative candidate running for Idaho State Governor and I don’t think Little is the guy!

    • al says:

      Where are they saying they want to promote CRT? They're saying they want to speak the truth. Are we now dealing with absolutes to the point we don't think teachers can speak truth AND refrain from using CRT methodology?

  • KJ says:

    "Meanwhile, 14 Idaho public school teachers are defending pushing CRT on students"

    Its up to the parents to remove these communists from their role as teacher of young minds. We can end this with a new governor if a liberty minded candidate can be found.

  • boobuns says:

    Nice, people need to know this history. Teachers need to take against those who want to whitewash the past.

  • John Cottingham says:

    Send those 14 teachers to California! They probably came from there.

  • Triss thulander says:

    In response to the teachers, I don't believe what anyone is saying, is lie about what happened. What happened to the Indians, Japanese and African people was wrong. But I don't think that today's children should be shamed for it. Ibram Kendi's take on reverse discrimination just compounds today's problems. So teach what happened without bias.

  • Beserker says:

    Sounds like they are using their wages as a negotiation piece as to whether they spout the truth or the indoctrination program! These individuals need to be removed and replaced with individuals that cherish the values of liberty. Not delusions hell bent on normalizing poor mental health!

  • Travis says:

    >Julie Gill | Boise: “I object to Idaho and other states trying to censor teachers. It's unconstitutional.”

    Lol! Who wants to tell her about the constitutionality of any federal meddling in education?

    Reading through these teachers' statements is rather sobering. They're brainwashed fools, and proof that a little learning can be a dangerous thing. One says she never learned about Japanese internment camps in school. Really? I did, and I went to school in the 80s and 90s.

    For goodness sakes, if you have children in public schools, get them out immediately. These people have no business teaching kids. They're painfully ignorant and ideologically driven.

  • Elsbeth Roach says:

    I am a National Board Certified Teacher, retired. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the complete emotional disenfranchisement these 14 so-called teachers have bought: hook, line and sinker. What makes them any kind of truth teller? Where are their facts, please...bonafide documentation, not just talking points. Follow the science...don't believe a thing you read in Karl Marx, Lenin, BLM...go to Venezuela. Russia, Cuba, Nazi Germany. Test those theories in real life. Socialism has NEVER been successful in ANY country where implemented. These 14 should be wearing the ignorance cone of shame.

    • al says:

      Isn't what you're saying more in the line of beliefs and opinions rather than facts, or "truths"? I'm on board with you as far as supporting capitalism and all, but the teachers are complaining about not being allowed to teach that japanese internment camps existed, that slavery existed, that we have had U.S. Supreme Court opinion validating slavery over 70 years after we became a nation saying "all men are created equal'. These are truths, not opinions, and the teachers are complaining that they can't teach those facts. None of the teachers' quotations are about socialism, communism, etc.
      I'd be careful about connecting yourself to NBPTS - they support "cultural responsiveness pedagogy", which IFF condemns as part of Critical Race Theory. IFF says teacher leaders in Idaho are part of the widespread indoctrination of CRT because they're required to be trained in cultural responsiveness. I'd be interested in hearing your take on that, as a retired NBPTS certified teacher. Do you agree with IFF that cultural responsiveness pedagogy shouldn't be allowed in schools?

      • joy conopask says:

        Al your first paragraph is right on fine but thats is not what they are doing check out the parents response

    • joy conopask says:

      Another above average person To bad todays Teachers are so ignorant

  • joy conopask says:

    oops Al i meant they should teach all that is in your first paragraph but not the
    color thing that sucks

  • Robert Klammer says:

    America was NOT founded on "dispossession of Native Americans (imperialism), slavery, structural racism and oppression". Certainly those things were present, but they were preexisting characteristics of most civilizations of the world at that time (and of today as well). These things were taken for granted to the extent that there was no word for the concept of racism.

    It was within this existing social order that America was founded on principles of equality, human rights, and individual liberty. The founders enshrined these principles in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution - despite the fact that many of them couldn't live up to the standard set by those principles themselves. Look to your own life if you don't think it is difficult to publicly espouse a principle that is clearly one to which you fail measure up.

    The founders could have set the status quo as the foundation of this country. The inequality of blacks and women, slavery, and oppression could have been the principles identified in our founding documents - but they weren't. The founders instead adopted principles upon which could be built a future that improved upon their own shortcomings.

    We do not need to teach that our founding fathers were angels. They were obviously merely as human as ourselves. But neither are we doing them or our country justice by overlooking the nobility of some of their achievements.

    Our children need examples that teach them that regardless of where they are in their lives they should always strive for the high road; that their failings do not define the good that they can accomplish.

    That there exist teachers in America that could be so small-mindedly judgemental and imperceptive of the truth is a disgrace.

  • 1776worldwide says:

    CRT is disgusting, even to democrat moms and dads - evil in one of its purest forms. Only the Liberal white moms are for this filth, along with black moms who are making it a business decision.

    It's a minuscule part of what a former president (laughably small p) envisioned as a "Plan to Transform America". [I'm beyond disgusted with myself for actually liking this clown, wanna-be tyrant, in 2008, and will need a long cleansing shower and prayer after admitting as much].

    The Goal: Unite American citizens into tribes, focusing hate upon each other. If you refuse to unite in hating each other? You're raciss!

    All American history needs to be taught in FULL and in honest sunlight without bias (unlikely in public school): British/European/World history, Bill of Rights, The Constitution, American Revolution, slavery (white and black), fascism (Hitler & Mussolini), Communism, Socialism, every war involving USA, the enduring march to make this a more perfect union, etc.

    No made up shit like the 1619 project, CRT, or the next thing those desiring to destroy our nation from within will fabricate. No porn & masturbation homework for any grade level. Too much to ask?

    Parents need to begin to explain concepts like the uniparty, controlled-opposition, corporatism vs modern fascism/communism/marxism. Things are changing fast, and it's about to get interesting. I pray our nation will persevere.

    When people under the thumb of truly tyrannical regimes march en mass, they often carry the American flag and even sing our national anthem. They understand what our country is supposed to be about, even if so many here have lost their way. We must do better, and the brainwashing of our children must end now.

  • 1776worldwide says:

    Here's some additional signers to the Zinn petition, looking for attention - as of July 5th, 2020.

    Natashia Sylvia | Garden City, ID
    CRT is the key to understanding white supremacist systems so that we may disrupt them and create for a better, more equitable world for all.

    Wendi Straub | Idaho Falls, ID
    Our systems have racist and classist policies and practices and we all benefit when every student has equitable opportunities to participate in society.

    Eric Rude | Pocatello, ID
    The United States is what it is because of its history, the good AND the bad. We cannot understand how to make our country great if we don't understand who we are.

    Mary Anne McGrory | Chubbuck, ID
    I will not be bullied into not teaching the history of this country... The good, the bad, and the ugly.

    Alan Wilding | Hagerman, ID
    It’s ridiculous to keep spewing lies and misinformation about CRT and how it’s being taught in schools. As a professor, I refuse to hide the truth or omit facts from my lessons.

    Sarah Duvall | Boise, ID
    [Signed without comment]

    Kelly Nelsen | Boise, ID
    My students deserve the truth.

    Janis Johnson | Lewiston, ID
    Students should not be lied to. Their intelligence and good character should be respected. They should learn the truth of American history and make their own decisions about what they think and what kinds of people/citizens they want to be.

    Leontina Hormel | Moscow, ID
    I am against the unconstitutional actions to censor dialog about US history and the country's dependence on settler colonialism, and the intersectional systems of oppression, including racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.

    Dr. Judith Dunkerly | Stites, ID
    the entire history of this country must be taught. We cannot literally whitewash out the parts that involved the oppression of, and violence towards BIPOC individuals.

    Alexa McConville | Blackfoot, ID
    Telling schools they can have more money if they pledge to not teach race theory is the reason Idaho ranks so low in education. It’s embarrassment. It. Is. Racist.

    Cathy Blake | Stites, ID
    Knowledge of the whole! picture of our country’s history should not be hidden. We must take a 360° look at our past to guide as to a better place.

    Melissa Young | VICTOR, ID
    Students not only deserve to learn true history, but our future is these students using their voices as global citizens to make our world a better place.

    Edwin Keener | Boise, ID
    We must know truth as it happened. Truth does not diminish white people.

    CURTIS LANOUE | Stites, ID
    [Signed without comment]

    Roseanne Puzzello | Stites, ID
    All students have a right to know history of their society that is representative of all people.

    Carol Ndambuki | Pullman, WA
    Pullman, WA is a college town right on the border with Moscow, ID. The State of Idaho is one that passed legislation controlling what teachers, districts, and universities can teach citing "Critical Race Theory" as a method for manipulating children into thinking it is bad to be white. Funds have been cut from those public universities perceived as teaching "Critical Race Theory," including the University of Idaho whose main campus is in Moscow, less than 8 miles from my home.I have been an adult educator for nine years working for the Federal government through Migrant Education grants supporting migrant workers and their children in their pursuit of high school diplomas. I teach in English and in Spanish all four subjects tested in high school equivalency (math, science, social studies and language arts). I have worked with so many adults in preparation for their citizenship test, adults from all over the world who have chosen to come to the United States for the freedoms enshrined in the constitution. We speak frankly about the good those freedoms have brought to our country but also about how those very principles have failed to be supported and observed for all who live here and call the US home.

    • TS says:

      Great, why don't we send the hundreds of thousands of ILLIGALS coming over our boarder to your town. You take care of them!! I live near LA were they have destroyed the city and disregard the laws. It has become a giant Crap hole.

  • 1776worldwide says:

    Think CRT/marxist indoctrination isn't in your K-12 school? Think again!

    It's taken root in N. Idaho, known as "social emotional learning". They'll rename it once parents catch onto their disguise. (Though such branding should be obvious enough, for the well informed)

    Take a look at Kootenai county school board meetings - the public comments period is up-front:

    So as to minimize your time, start this July 12th meeting at 12:05 into the video:

    Here's the Aug 2nd meeting - viewership is growing quick as concerned citizens begin to engage. The smackdown is at 30:15 into the video.

    Watch the board member go weak after that attorney. These SJW's are all weak - We have the votes, the blessing, the common-sense to kick every last one of these clowns out.

    Let's get to it!

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