AIM Investigates: Ohio school administrators reveal tactics for tricking parents
January 17, 2023
Administrators and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officers across the state of Ohio are revealing that bans on the teaching of Critical Race Theory won’t stop them. Some employees at Columbus-area schools even revealed to Accuracy in Media’s investigators just some of their deceptive tactics for sneaking in CRT indoctrination.
“You can pass a bill that you can’t teach Critical Race Theory in a classroom, but if you didn’t cover programming or you didn’t cover extracurricular activities or anything like that, that message might still get out,” Matthew L. Boaz, executive director of DEI at Upper Arlington Schools, told AIM investigators on hidden camera video.
“Oops,” he joked. “There will be a way.”
Boaz isn’t the only one with an affinity for deceiving parents about their children’s education. According to Hilary Staten, an administrative assistant for Groveport Madison Schools, “We had some parents that, you know, they don’t fully understand.”
“So, you know, it’s when we trick them, you know,” Staten said.
Despite Republican lawmakers’ efforts to put forth bills barring schools from teaching children CRT, these educators have made it clear that they will find ways to force it in.
Ohio’s House Bill 616 made headlines last year, drawing comparisons to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which left-wing activists smeared as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
HB616 would have prohibited the “teaching or providing training that promotes or endorses divisive or inherently racist concepts.” However, it did not advance out of Ohio’s House.
Even if this bill had moved forward or even been signed by the governor, it’s clear that these school administrators would have worked around it.
A new solution may be available, however. This month, Ohio Sen. Sandra O’Brien introduced the Enact the Parent Educational Freedom Act. The bill, SB11, would greatly expand school choice in the state.
The measure would do this by expanding eligibility for the existing Educational Choice scholarships. Further, the bill would increase the income tax credit available to cover homeschooling expenses.
With administrators admitting that CRT is non-negotiable in state-run schools, this new legislation provides an avenue for parents to educate their children in suitable private institutions or even through homeschooling.
Boaz admitted to investigators that he tells people CRT is not in his school’s curriculum. “You didn’t ask about the conversations in the hallway,” he said.
“Those conversations are happening,” he assured. “Absolutely, but you know, when people ask us questions, we answer their questions. But, yes, we absolutely have those conversations going on.”
Boaz is confident that he’ll be able to handle concerned parents who eventually find out about the way CRT is being implemented.
“I mean, that will probably get discussed in 17 classrooms before somebody actually brings it in here,” he boasted. “And then we’ll deal with it.”
Melissa Klosterman-Lando, director of employee relations and human resources at Bexley City Schools, echoed this confidence.
“We would find parameters from which we could, absolutely,” she told AIM investigators. Klosterman-Lando was referring to the school’s plans for still incorporating CRT into learning if bills banning it are signed into law.
Some of the ways these educators implement CRT include calling it by another name. One of these is Social-Emotional Learning.
On camera, Staten agreed that she believes SEL is a good way to sneak CRT into classrooms.
“We do focus a lot of—so with the federal funds that got awarded … for the pandemic, we put a social worker and a guidance counselor in every single building and we incorporated a lot of materials that were focused on the social, emotional wellbeing,” she explained.
Another way schools are passing off CRT is through Newsela. The online education platform is notably connected to the Left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as revisionist historian Howard Zinn, and the debunked New York Times 1619 Project.
AIM has found Newsela’s use in countless classrooms across the country already.
“We use Newsela in a couple of different capacities,” Staten said. “We use it for not only some of our like core content, so our social studies uses it. But we use it as a supplement for language arts also.”
Boaz explained to AIM’s investigators that he plans to implement his DEI goals under the nose of parents by revealing it in bits and pieces. “They’re not going to be supportive if I lay out everything we’re going to do,” he divulged. However, if he introduces one concept at a time, he claims people will not realize just how much he is doing.
“Five years we look back and like, what the hell happened?” he added.
As these administrators have demonstrated, bills combatting CRT will not stop them. Instead, embracing school choice has become the only viable step forward for parents. AIM’s investigation into Columbus, Ohio educators reveals just how deceptive they’re willing to be, and why the newly introduced Enact the Parent Educational Freedom Act is necessary.
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