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Utah parents, activists disagree over Critical Race Theory curriculum

Posted at 10:38 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 01:31:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are working on legislation dealing with Critical Race Theory being taught in Utah classrooms.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) examines systemic racism and its impact on aspects of American society.

Parents who would like to see it banned believe it promotes an ideology that creates more division than unity and is not driven by facts.

“What’s happening with CRT and the ideology is that we are pinpointing it on certain races,” said Andrea Stringfellow, a parent of five mixed-race children. “We are creating this blame, shame and guilt.”

Stringfellow, who is of Peruvian descent, believes Critical Race Theory causes minority students to feel like victims.

“But people of color -- that is victimizing us as well, making us seem like we are oppressed, like we are downtrodden or there is a reason we sat in the back of the classroom,” she said.

She stressed that she supports students learning about uncomfortable subjects, but would like to see a set curriculum.

In an online town hall Tuesday, Gov. Spencer Cox indicated there are several aspects of Critical Race Theory with which he disagrees.

“No, Critical Race Theory will not be taught in Utah schools,” he said.

James Yapias, the education director of the Salt Lake branch of the NAACP stressed the importance of learning history and about different cultures.

“Some think it’s politically motivated, but it isn't,” Yapias said. “We become better as a community when we have a better understanding of others.”

The issue has been loudly discussed during public comment sessions at school board meetings across the state.

A spokesperson for the Utah State Board of Education said Critical Race Theory is nowhere to be found in their core standards.