How to Support Educators Under Attack Amid Critical Race Theory Debate

No matter our individual identities or faith traditions, we all believe in the common good. This requires us to do our homework to make sure we are informed, compassionate, and proactive.  Critical race theory is rooted in these very same ideals.  

Critical race theory requires examining behaviors and policies that have led to the current injustices present in our society. It makes it clear that for some, their individual choices have been limited or denied at times. It calls on us to see not only our neighbors but to recognize the generations of trauma and harm that many of our neighbors have endured. 

Critical race theory is solely taught at the graduate level, but our school systems can teach the foundational themes from kindergarten through 12th-grade. In elementary school, it could look like talking about Ruby Bridges and the many diverse cultures represented in our state or even in the classroom.  In middle school, it could look like acknowledging that our nation’s founding documents like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence didn’t include everyone under the umbrella of all men. It could also be learning that our country was colonized, not discovered. In high school, classes may have lessons about how one’s race or ethnicity impacts immigration, access to the GI Bill, and transportation options. Critical race theory is about an inclusive curriculum, so all students feel acknowledged and included. It recognizes that representing the diverse voices throughout our communities makes our communities better. 

Critical race theory recognizes that we must learn the many sides of our history to understand the present better.  It’s not about demeaning or changing American ideals. Instead, it’s acknowledging that collectively, we haven’t yet lived up to them. 

However, a small group of politicians are purposefully misleading individuals about critical race theory and are actively working to create more division. They incorrectly state that their focus is patriotism. Yet, we know that loving our country involves respecting our neighbors and communities to the highest standard and includes respecting the various ethnic and racial groups that played a part in building this country. 

We must have politicians, school board members, and community leaders who advocate and represent all of us. Lawmakers across the country and throughout our history have tried to prevent learning about the reality of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout the history of the US. These anti-information tactics are distracting school boards from their work to support all students. Our educators deserve our trust, support, and resources. Together we can advocate ensuring students have a learning environment that creates opportunities for just dialogue.  

If you are an educator, you can sign the pledge to teach the truth. Everyone can join in the days of action from August 27th-29th via social media. Here’s a list of places throughout Colorado to snap a picture and add #AdvocateInterfaithCO to your post.  We will be keeping our eyes out for local legislation and sharing details with our members. If you want to stay in the loop for what’s going on legislatively, please click the box below to be added to the list.

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