March 3, 2024

Movement to ban critical race theory is hurting children’s education, says Black parents

2 min read
National news graphic

National news graphic

A new interview highlights what some parents believe is an inequality in history curriculum in public schools across the U.S.

Danielle Atkinson says that when her daughter brought home a second-grade assignment that focused on Christopher Columbus’s explorations, she noticed inequities in her daughter’s school curriculum.

She says while there were lots of lessons about Columbus and other historic White figures, many Black Americans were not as highlighted in the curriculum at Royal Oak Public Schools in Michigan.

Atkinson and other Black and brown parents have asked for a change, but she says it hasn’t happened yet.

“Our children are not having the education around race and history that they should, and it’s to our detriment and it’s a disservice to our children,” she told CNN.

Now, Atkinson the White suburban mothers who have made national headlines for their passionate please to ban critical race theory from schools are taking center stage in the curriculum debate. The parents, most of whom are White, have protested and spoken out at near-violent school board meetings across the U.S. Educators across the country insist that critical race theory, which says that that racism is both systemic and institutional in American society, is actually not included in public grade school curriculum. The theory is usually only taught in law school or graduate school.

Atkinson says the loud voices in the critical race theory debate have made it more difficult for the concerns of Black and brown parents to be heard. They don’t see their voices in the debate, instead, drowned out the so-called critical race theory discussion.

“Most of our parents left traditionally Black communities (for majority White schools)… for us to have a better education,” Atkinson said. “We shouldn’t also have to lose our voice and our children’s cultural education because of it.”

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