A student from a small Minnesota town testified before her local school board during a meeting this week that she was asked to complete an “equity survey” by her teacher and told not to discuss it with her parents, which made her feel “uncomfortable.”
Haylee Yasgar and other students were given the survey as part of an $80,000 audit on “racial inequities” in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District within the community of Sartell, situated just north of St. Cloud.
The survey was commissioned by a left-wing group called Equity Alliance Minnesota, which was hired by the district to conduct the survey, Alpha News reported.
Yasgar and parents discussed the survey, which she said she took last year in the fourth grade, as well as other critical race theory-related curriculum at this week’s board meeting.
“My teacher said that I could not skip any questions even when I didn’t understand them. One question asked us what gender we identify with. I was very confused along with a lot of other classmates,” she told school board members on Monday.
She added that students were also told they couldn’t “repeat any of the questions to our parents.”
“Being asked to hide this from my mom made me very uncomfortable — like I was doing something wrong,” Yasgar told the board.
Many parents, some of whom wore shirts that said “Kids Over Politics,” are fearful that the district is adopting critical race theory curriculum wittingly or unwittingly.
Alpha News reported that the venue for the school board meeting, “the oldest gym in the district” that lacked “air conditioning on a hot evening and with poor audio,” was nevertheless packed with “a standing room only crowd of more than 100 people.”
Some defended the audit, saying that it was necessary to help enforce anti-bullying rules and to identify mental health issues without mentioning CRT specifically.
Increasingly, CRT is being met with resistance by parents and teachers where it has been introduced in school districts.
According to a recent analysis by NBC, some 165 groups have been formed on the local and national levels to push back on CRT instruction in schools. Many of those organizations were launched by parents frustrated and outraged over the CRT curriculum which focuses primarily on teaching kids that American institutions were founded by racist individuals and thus remain racist today and tilted against Americans of color.
Some of the debates during school board meetings have led to confrontations between parents and police, many of which are often caught on video and go viral online.
“Parents are right to revolt against critical race theory in the classroom,” Chris Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and anti-CRT researcher, told the Daily Caller last month.
“Children are not inherently ‘oppressors’ and should not be implicated for historical crimes on the basis of their race. That’s the kind of propaganda that belongs in a Soviet history museum—not American K-12 classrooms,” he added.
“School systems are teaching material that affirms Critical Race Theory’s main ideas when they recommend teachers ‘decolonize’ their curriculum by counting the races of different textbook authors,” noted Jonathan Butcher, a Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation, in an interview with the outlet.
“As state lawmakers consider the issue, policymakers should say that no public institution can compel any teacher or student to affirm or profess belief in any idea that violates the Civil Rights Act, including the idea that individuals should receive certain benefits or sanctions based on the color of their skin,” he noted further.
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