A Williamson County School Board member this week spoke out against a group of parents who believe the school system requires their children to read books that indoctrinate them into Critical Race Theory (CRT).
This, as members of the group Moms for Liberty — Williamson County (ML-WC) continue to criticize readings within a curriculum called “Wit and Wisdom.”
But WCS School Board member Eric Welch said on his Facebook page Thursday that ML-WC members misrepresent what the school system teaches.
“Recently, there have been some accusations on social media of Critical Race Theory (CRT) being taught in Williamson County Schools. These accusations are FALSE. Those making this claim are either speaking from ignorance, have an agenda that isn’t bound by facts, or some combination of the two. WCS is not now, nor has it ever, taught CRT in our schools. In Tennessee, public school curriculum starts at the State level and WCS follows State curriculum guidelines,” Welch said.
“WCS is currently working on culture strategy planning to improve how we serve all our students, and that will not include critical race theory. We have a webpage describing that planning, including some FAQs on that work: https://www.wcs.edu/domain/1414. Fostering Healthy Solutions, the consultants hired to assist us in our planning, has begun hosting Listen and Learn Sessions. These sessions will be an opportunity for WCS stakeholders to share their thoughts and the next session is May 14th. Please check the WCS webpage and follow our InFocus newsletter for details on those meetings. To sign up for InFocus, go to www.wcs.edu and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can enter your email address.”
Several hundred Williamson County residents gathered in Thompson’s Station Tuesday to complain that “Wit and Wisdom” is dark and divisive and, overall, robs elementary students of their innocence. WCS Board Member Dan Cash presided over Tuesday’s meeting.
Parents complained school administrators require their second-grade children to read books that contain themes of racism, segregation, infidelity, suicide, rape, scalping, and the murder of naked women and children in the middle of the street. They complained about books that depict white characters degrading African-Americans and also Hispanics. Other books, they said, contained themes of infidelity, murder, and suicide.
At Tuesday’s meeting, an unidentified person handed out a flyer warning parents about books the school system requires fourth-graders to read.
The flyer, for instance, said Walk Two Moons has a very dark storyline about a mother abandoning her family. They also said that The River Between Us, set during the Civil War, portrays minstrel shows that depict blackface as well as themes of prostitution.
“We are living in very dark times as it is. These books just add to the depression students are having with COVID-19,” according to the unidentified author of the flyer.
“I find these texts and novels very depressing, and [they] could leave a very negative impression of our children and our country. I feel so much of this instruction is not age appropriate.”
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