Dayton educators tout having ‘a way around’ Critical Race Theory bans by avoiding ‘triggering words’

January 30, 2023

By Accuracy in Media Staff

Accuracy in Media’s hidden camera investigation into Ohio schools has already revealed the deceptive tactics being used in both Columbus and Cincinnati to sneak Critical Race Theory into education – but those aren’t the only schools that are willing to mislead parents. 

Dayton, Ohio educators are similarly prepared to skirt anti-CRT laws if they are enacted in the state. 

“There’s all sorts of ways around it,” Kettering City School District Student Services Supervisor Rick Earley told AIM’s investigators on hidden camera. 

Betsy Gann, director of Curriculum and Gifted Services at Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools, echoed this, saying that “There’s language that we need to be careful of. There are triggering kinds of words and that’s how I put it.”

When AIM investigators asked if they could teach the same content under a different label, she said, “Yeah.”

Last year, Republican lawmakers in Ohio introduced legislation that would have prohibited CRT in schools. Specifically, House Bill 616 would have barred “teaching or providing training that promotes or endorses divisive or inherently racist concepts.”

The measure, which was smeared as a “don’t say gay” bill and compared to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, did not advance out of Ohio’s legislature. 

Activist educators in the state are making it very clear that even if the bill had been signed into law, it wouldn’t have stopped them.  

According to Gann, phrases such as “CRT” and “culturally responsive” are “triggering.” They also “don’t formally use” the word antiracism. However, she claimed that students are still taught to be “antiracist.”

Defending the content that may trigger some, she said “that’s not putting you down, caucasian man, it’s being an advocate.”

It would be “unfortunate” to change the name of the content being taught due to a CRT ban, said Earley. But he explained how the school is prepared to work around a possible ban nonetheless. 

“It all goes back to how you dress the window,” Earley told investigators. “You can do a lot of shopping without anybody even knowing you’re shopping.”

“You just have to be very careful how you phrase whatever you’re going to say,” he continued, confirming that they would indeed change the label of the lessons while leaving the content unaltered. 

Gann also revealed to investigators that she used school funds to purchase the book “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo for staff members–and the reading counted as “professional development.”

We did ‘White Fragility,’” she said. “I did buy those out of funds. So, it was a professional development opportunity.” 

“It was grant-funded,” she explained, specifying that the money came from “staff development funds.”

Dayton educators, similar to their counterparts in both Columbus and Cincinnati, are willing to do whatever it takes to get CRT into schools. They’re willing to slap new labels on their lessons so they can keep infusing social justice into them. 

Bans like the one proposed in HB616 would not stop these schools, as is evident in their conversations with AIM’s investigators.

The answer may lie in a bill recently introduced in Ohio’s legislature by Ohio Sen. Sandra O’Brien. The Enact the Parent Educational Freedom Act, or SB11, seeks to expand school choice for students and families in the state. 

O’Brien’s proposal would open up eligibility for the existing Educational Choice scholarships while also increasing the income tax credit available to cover homeschooling expenses.

This way, families across Ohio would be able to access private schools or even afford to homeschool. While public institutions have a monopoly, they clearly won’t stop pushing CRT content. 

If Ohio were to grant families choices in schooling options, public schools would be forced to ditch the agenda to maintain enrollment rates. 


These investigations have made it clearer than ever that the only solution is school choice. Click here to join us in our fight. With one click, you can tell your elected officials to promote school choice in your state.


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