GREENVILLE — More than 100 people attended the Darke County Republican Women’s Club (DCRWC) panel discussion regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT) Monday night at the Radiant Lighthouse Church, Greenville.
U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (OH-8), Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-12), and State Board of Education Member Diana Fessler (SBE-1) each addressed the crowd, highlighting how CRT, among other issues, continues to impact policy at the federal, state, and local levels, and how potential legislation might affect students and their families throughout all of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Rep. Davidson opened the discussion by citing the origins of critical race theory in cultural Marxism, similar to the linguistic engineering imposed by Mao ZeDong after 1949.
“Critical race theory is not meant to unite the country, it is meant to divide the country,” said Davidson. “There is no grace with this new “woke” doctrine…We are up against a real insurgency of cultural Marxism in our country.”
Sen. Huffman also discussed the origins and influence of CRT within academia, particularly higher education.
“This is being imposed on our K-12 schools, but it didn’t start there. It started within higher education…Many who have been there since the 1970s, who now have tenure, believe this theory should be imposed upon students,” said Huffman. “This is one of the reasons Sen. Jerry Cirino (R) sponsored SB-135, regarding state institutions of higher education and free speech, which I co-sponsored, along with several others…This bill would reign in higher education, and require that free speech be re-imposed on college campuses…The First Amendment is dead on college campuses…SB-135 will invigorate free speech.”
Diana Fessler, an elected member of the Ohio State Board of Education, reiterated her stance on CRT and its presence within Ohio’s 3,546 public schools.
“On paper, CRT is a divisive political theory. In practice, advocates view the world through the lens of oppression and skin color with a hyper-focus on equity, inclusion, and diversity,” said Fessler. “To achieve their goals, CRT advocates are boldly intruding into the domain of parents by presuming that the state can better shape the ‘whole child’ into a “more useful” worker by providing him all manner of health care services and non-academic services other than parents.”
When asked what three things Ohioans can do to counteract the implementation or advancement of CRT in schools, each member of the panel responded with practical, common-sense advice.
“Take interest in and attend your local school board meetings,” said Davidson. “School boards are not there just to be cheerleaders…Pay attention to what your kids and grandkids are being taught, and what they are saying…Get involved, stay engaged…We need to ask tough questions.”’
“Get involved and run for office, at the school board level. Pay attention to what is going on in the Ohio Legislature and especially on the Ohio School Board,” said Huffman. “Be bold in a way that is professional. Come to Columbus to testify. When you see people who are saying things that are untrue, politely call them out. We need to advocate at the local and state levels. Remember the Common Core fight? It is important attend these public meetings.”
“Get to know your State Representatives and Senators, Board members, and who sits on your local school boards. Ask the hard questions. Become more informed about the State Board of Education does,” said Fessler. “Someone who has skills on the computer and time should look into requesting public records on how local school boards can choose, or not, to accept funding.”
Learn more about CRT and proposed legislation by reading Ohio HB 322 at https://bit.ly/3yLoHFM.
Learn more about Ohio SB 135 at https://bit.ly/3CKBYAM.
To learn more about the Darke County Republican Women’s Club (DCRWC), visit: www.darkegop.org/womens-club.html or email President Jaime LeVeck at: [email protected].