Extended Ohio footage reveals educator’s plan to push CRT principles was not lacking context
February 28, 2023
Last month, Accuracy in Media released several videos revealing the covert ways that educators across the state of Ohio were preparing to skirt a possible law against Critical Race Theory.
Afterward, some of the exposed school districts attempted to dismiss the evidence as lacking context.
Today, AIM called their bluff. AIM has released longform footage of investigators’ hidden camera conversation with Matthew L. Boaz, the executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Upper Arlington Schools outside of Columbus, Ohio.
And AIM President Adam Guillette warned other subjects of AIM investigations that there is plenty more context where that came from.
In the extended footage of the interaction with Boaz, the educator is not exonerated. In fact, he just further exposes both himself and his district.
In a clip that was excluded from AIM’s initial video, Boaz discusses ways they might work around a CRT ban. “We’re going to do whatever we do and we’ll find a way,” he said on hidden camera.
“And I’ll tell you right now, there’s people in this community that will probably set up Saturday school or something and they’ll be having like all the parents who want their children to learn about these things, just come to such and such’s house and believe me some of these houses are big enough to entertain everybody in the yard.”
“And they’ll be holding school right there and you’ll be getting all your CRT,” Boaz told investigators.
Asked about the students whose parents wouldn’t want to send them to this kind of activity, Boaz said that it would become something they would feel left out from, as they strive to be part of “the popular crowd.”
“So just go ahead and pass your bill. And we’ll just see what happens,” Boaz said.
The educator reiterated time and time again during the conversation that he does not advertise his goals. “Like I said, I’m not going to get on a megaphone and say it,” he explained. “But, if you think I’m not going to be fighting over here, I’ll be fighting. I’m going to be doing it my way.”
“I hope the bill doesn’t pass, but if it does, that’s not going to shut everything down,” Boaz assured investigators.
The bill he referenced was Ohio House Bill 616, which was introduced last year.
The measure would have prohibited the “teaching or providing training that promotes or endorses divisive or inherently racist concepts.”
It did not advance out of the House.
Regardless, educators like Boaz made it very clear that they would not have been stopped by such legislation.
In another previously unreleased clip, Boaz recalled an exchange with a parent who took issue with Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be An Antiracist.
The parent told him that they found the book on their website, and didn’t like the idea of antiracism or the book’s view on capitalism versus communism. The parent had “lived in communist China for over 20 years,” Boaz said.
He then laughed to investigators, explaining that he removed the reference from the website to appease the parent, but revealed that it’s “probably in our library. But whatever. I mean, I’ll take it off my website. It’s all good.”
Boaz also explained to AIM’s investigators that he asks that parents be incredibly specific about complaints. He questions them until he narrows their complaint down so much that he can apply a surface-level solution, something as simple as removing mention of a book from the website, while not actually addressing the parent’s concern, which was the teaching of antiracism and its tenets, in this case.
He further made it evident, again, that he is not “one of the flashpoint type folks.”
However, this is strategy, according to Boaz. “I do that on purpose. I mean, I want to do the work. I don’t care about all this, you know, flashy things over there. I want to do the work,” he said in the extended footage.
He even described watering down a diversity plan so as not to garner media attention.
“There’s just too many places you can hit,” he said of the initial plan.
Boaz said he would much rather effectively inject CRT principles into schools while flying under the radar.
“We go to the school board and get it approved, but we don’t need to do all that,” he said.
Further, Boaz talked to investigators about how he can make changes without causing alarm.
“They’re not going to be supportive if I lay out everything we’re going to do,” he said. “But if I talk to them about doing this one thing, in the name of supporting students, they probably won’t have an issue with this one thing.”
“And by the time we get that thing established, if I start talking to them about this one other thing – they don’t realize that was two things.”
“Five years, we look back and we’re like, ‘What the hell happened?’” he asked.
Boaz is more than willing to work covertly and avoid flashy titles and phrases, so long as he can keep pushing the same principles on students.
AIM released the context that was requested. However, it didn’t make things any better for Boaz, Upper Arlington Schools, or the students of Ohio.
The only answer is allowing for Arizona-style school choice, where money does not automatically go to public schools that are intent on pushing CRT, instead following students.
The Enact the Parent Educational Freedom Act, introduced last month by Ohio Sen. Sandra O’Brien, would embark on this and greatly expand school choice in the state.
The bill, currently in Senate committee, would expand eligibility for the existing Educational Choice scholarships. It would also increase the income tax credit available to cover homeschooling expenses.