Most conservatives are aware of the dangers lurking in public schools now. Thanks to the work of people like Christopher Rufo and the LibsofTikTok Twitter account, we now see the insidious ideas left-wing educators want to teach kids. The schools that receive the most attention for indoctrinating kids are usually in your typical blue areas: New York City, Portland, San Francisco, etc.
What gets less attention is the subversion going on in solid red counties. Yes, even schools in areas where most parents are Trump voters are affected by critical race theory.
Example: Williamson County, Tennessee.
This Nashville suburb went 62 percent for Trump in 2020. Republicans always easily win elections in the county. From 1998 to 2018, Democrats didn’t bother to compete for county commission seats. (Republicans still won every seat in the most recent year Democrats decided to compete). The county even still boasts a Confederate flag in its official seal.
Nevertheless, the county school board is committed to “diversity and inclusion” programs. Diversity and inclusion are common euphemisms for what conservatives would recognize as critical race theory. A recent report from the Nashville Tennessean said the board was fully committed to the concept. The article was vague about what the board actually hopes to implement in its allegiance to diversity, outside of an anti-bullying initiative.
The story did allude to the county last year hiring a “diversity and inclusion” firm to look at its policies and recommend changes. The firm recommended the county overhaul its curriculum, disciplinary policies, and work with local left-wing groups to achieve progress. The school agreed to implement some of these recommendations, mainly those involving curricula.
That outraged parents. A courageous group of parents organized a Moms for Liberty chapter to highlight the negative changes to the curriculum for the sake of diversity. The group has detailed the lesson plans aimed at elementary school students. The parents highlight how many of the courses focus on how whites did terrible things to nonwhites in this country. From Indian wars to segregation, students imbibe a negative portrayal of their country and of whites. (It should be noted that nearly 80 percent of Williamson County’s students are white. The vast majority of its students will learn to feel guilt for the color of their skin at a young age). There are lesson plans to teach young kids protest songs and to challenge tradition.
In a PowerPoint highlighting the curriculum, Moms for Liberty found CRT themes in many of the grades. According to the group: “Mean white people” is a common theme taught to kindergarteners, first graders, second graders, and fifth graders; “Anti-America” is a common theme in grades first through fifth; and “Anti-Nuclear Family” is a common theme in first, fourth, and fifth grades.
These lesson plans are not as obviously bad as some of what Rufo has uncovered. There are no demands for white students to apologize to nonwhite students for slavery or paeans to Aztec blood gods in Williamson County schools. It’s a more subtle form of critical race indoctrination, but with the same purpose: to make kids feel guilt for their skin color and for their nation’s history.
Tennessee banned critical race theory last year. But WCS officials insist their schools don’t teach CRT. They just teach “diversity and inclusion”!
It’s only fitting that this same school board voted to extend mask mandates last year against parents’ wishes. But, unlike with its diversity curriculum, the school board realized its mistake and revoked its mandate in November.
The school board isn’t run by green-haired leftists proclaiming their gender pronouns. Most of its members are Republicans. Until recently, school board members didn’t run with partisan identification. The county changed its rules this year to allow for primaries, making the races partisan. Most of the incumbents up for reelection are running as Republicans. One of them is Eric Welch.
Welch was the star of a semi-viral clip earlier this year. In the clip, he mocked Moms for Liberty for their concerns about the school’s curriculum and said their alternative was “wildly racist.” This is a Republican candidate.
Critical race instruction comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s overt, as shown in Portland schools. Other times, it’s more subtle, such as in Williamson County Schools. The “diversity and inclusion” agenda pushed by professional left-wing firms is just applied critical race theory by a more appealing name. Parents in red counties shouldn’t fall for this trick—and they shouldn’t tolerate board members deriding their concerns.