By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Saratoga’s school district officially banned the teaching of critical race theory in its schools during a meeting of the district’s board of trustees earlier this week.
On Monday, the board members unanimously adopted a resolution to ban teachers and staff from offering instruction on critical race theory or similar ideas. The district will not purchase any materials or bring any speakers to the schools that promote the ideas, according to the resolution.
“I believe that God’s children should all be treated the same,” one person at the meeting said.
Instead, the district will promote ideologies found in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Teachers will be allowed to talk about subjects such as racism, but will not be allowed to promote or encourage critical race theory.
Critical race theory is described by some as proposing that racism is a social construct ingrained in American life and laws.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education proposed guidelines for American history and civics education grant programs which encourage schools to use curriculum related to the New York Times’ 1619 Project (a journalism project that focuses on the consequences of slavery and contributions of Black Americans), critical race theory and the work of anti-racism activist and author Ibram X. Kendi.
Carbon County Republican Party Chairman Joey Correnti IV praised the district’s move on Thursday.
“I definitely hope that this firm statement is the beginning of something grander across Wyoming, and I know that if any dedicated group of individual citizens have the fortitude, dedication, and talent, to make an impactful effort that will inspire others across the state to take a lasting stand, it is the liberty minded grassroots voices of rural Wyoming and especially those of Carbon County,” he said in a text to Cowboy State Daily.
“That’s really the great thing about grassroots efforts that are based on legitimate principles and not subjective feelings or personal benefit, there is always more than one group working on the issue because it is an issue of the people with whom all powers of government are inherent!” he said.
Last month, Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, and Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, introduced legislation that would combat the teaching of CRT in Wyoming schools.
The legislation would require a publication of all instructional materials used by K-12 public schools in the state and modify the requirements for instruction of state and federal constitutions.
Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis backed a bill that would prohibit federal funding from being used to teach the New York Times’ 1619 Project (named after the year Black slaves were first brought to the American colonies) and critical race theory in schools.