By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The chairman of Wyoming’s Republican Party is urging parents and others to contact their local school boards and elected officials to protest the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
In the party’s “Chairman’s Update” released Wednesday, Frank Eathorne discussed critical race theory, calling it a dangerous agenda being pushed in schools.
“The youngest members of our society deserve attention, consideration, and protection when it comes to public policy. They should not be political pawns,” Eathorne said. “You’ve probably heard the term Critical Race Theory in the news. You may, or may not, understand the nuances and dangers lurking in this new agenda being pushed on our children and grandchildren.”
He also linked to an opinion piece penned in the free monthly speech digest “Imprimis” from the conservative private school Hillsdale College about CRT from public policy researcher Christopher F. Rufo, which said the theory was closely related to Marxism and describing how it could be battled.
“Consider the future of your family and community. Is CRT good for the future of Wyoming and America? The time to act is now!” Eathorne said. “Let your local school boards and other elected officials know this is not the path we wish to take in the educating of our youngest minds.”
“Our children are treasures! Don’t let them be taught to view the world through the lens of skin color,” Eathorne concluded. “Call or write your elected officials and tell them this is a NO GO!”
Critical race theory is described by some as proposing that racism is a social construct ingrained in American life and laws.
Last week, Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, was joined by Senate President Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow at a press conference in the Wyoming State Capitol to announce his proposed Civics Transparency Act, which he plans to introduce during the next legislative session in the spring.
The bill is currently in draft form with the Legislative Service Office.
The legislation would require a publication of all instructional materials used by K-12 public schools in the state and modify the requirements for teaching about the state and federal constitutions.
The Wyoming Education Association expressed concern this week about the bill’s potential consequences.
“The Wyoming Education Association supports transparency in education, which is at the core of this proposed legislation,” President Grady Hutcherson said in a written statement to the Gillette News Record. “WEA welcomes parents and communities in their right to be collaborative partners in students’ education.
“However, we do have concerns about the potential unintended consequences this draft legislation could have for education employees, districts, and — most importantly — students,” he said.