PHM hosting parent meetings about critical race theory in the district

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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Ind. (WNDU) - The Penn-Harris-Madison school district is prepared to put its curriculum under the microscope after complaints that the district is teaching critical race theory.

Three workshops for parents have been scheduled for next week to learn more about the lessons being taught.

A group called Strengthen Our Schools has persistently expressed curriculum concerns in the PHM district.

“The critical race theory does not have a place in the classroom,” says George Bashura with Strengthen Our Schools.

According to Britannica, critical race theorists contend the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to maintain social, economic, and political inequities.

Strengthen Our Schools found a pyramid of white supremacy document in teaching materials, that puts the “Make America Great Again” slogan, next to the mention of racial profiling and burning crosses.

“The pyramid was used in a professional development activity, with teachers only, and it was part of a that professional development activity,” says PHM Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker. “It didn’t come across well, we pulled it, that’s not the intent of what we’re trying to convey.”

“It’s not a political thing, it’s not a Democrat-Republican thing. This Is about our kids, I don’t want politics playing into my kids’ education. That’s first and foremost,” Bashura says.

Thacker says the district’s social and emotional learning program encourages students to celebrate diversity, and gives them a sense of belonging...

He has called three separate meetings next week to clear up what he called misinformation in the community.

“We’re inviting parents to some in, find out what we’re doing,” Thacker says. “We’ll be transparent we’ll show them what we’re teaching share lessons with them give them an advance we really want our parents to know what we’re teaching so that they can help reinforce and we’re collaborating.”

Parents interested in attending one of the meetings must register in advance.

There will be one meeting on Monday at 1 p.m., with two more scheduled for Tuesday, at 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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