Indiana educators brag about slipping in CRT and DEI instruction ‘under the radar’

April 12, 2023

By Accuracy in Media Staff

For its next hidden camera investigation, Accuracy in Media’s investigators headed to Indiana. The reliably Republican state in middle America is not where one might expect to find a thriving culture of educators deceptively working to teach Critical Race Theory and its principles. 

But that’s exactly where it’s happening. 

In a hidden camera interview, Plainfield Community School Corporation assistant superintendent Laura Delvecchio told AIM’s investigators that “We really–we stay under the radar. And we’d like to keep it that way,” in regard to the teaching of CRT and Social Emotional Learning—which has become something of a trojan horse for disguising the principles of CRT. 

However, Brad Sheppard, Elkhart assistant superintendent, told AIM’s investigators that parents are beginning to catch on to what they’re doing with SEL. 

“We just have to avoid the words, you know? The labels,” he said.

SEL had become a preferred mode of including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, along with CRT. Sheppard further said that SEL can “very easily” be incorporated into some subjects, namely language arts. 

But according to Sheppard, “[SEL] has become a bad phrase and we don’t openly use that phrase but we’re still doing it, so. I mean, just to avoid anything, I mean, we have not really been hit with it, but just to even avoid it.”

Tracey Noe, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Goshen Community Schools, expressed a similar sentiment, telling AIM investigators that the equity and inclusion committee’s name had been changed “because we just didn’t want to make a target of it.”

Even though the group was renamed, Noe assured AIM that it still does the same work. 

“Right now it’s named a ‘work group,’” she said. 

Delvecchio further explained that “we had started some really deep diving into our curriculum and kind of doing that white privilege walk and making sure, like, just understand right.” 

This is kept very under wraps though, as not to trigger alarm bells for parents. 

“What we’ve decided to do is not call attention to it because when you call attention to it then questions are asked and I really believe that you can do more good under the radar,” she reiterated. 

Some educators in the state are going as far as to “prep” textbook presenters to avoid certain topics in their presentations. 

“We have talked to our textbook companies that are coming and do presentations and I actually prep them a little bit because I’m like ‘we want this in our curriculum so if you could just not say specifically this then it won’t cause a red flag with the community’ and I hate that we have to do that but that way it’s still there and they would support it if just the content was there they just–its the title,” Jenny Oakley, director of e-learning and literacy at Martinsville Schools Metropolitan School District, told AIM investigators. 

Fairfield Community Schools assistant superintendent Monica Kegerreis additionally revealed that educators make use of controversial education platform Newsela, but noted that teachers are wary of saying its contents “out loud.” 

“Some of our English teachers do use Newsela. I think some of our social studies teachers have used it as well,” Kegerreis said. 

When AIM investigators mentioned Newsela’s connections to the highly ideological Southern Poverty Law Center and left-wing historian Howard Zinn, known for his slanted account of America’s history, she said “Now, our teachers know that – they’re not saying that out loud.”

It doesn’t matter how many lawmakers of a certain party are in the legislature. It doesn’t even matter who the governor is. At the end of the day, these educators have made it clear that they will adapt to any and all restrictions placed on them in order to inject the principles of CRT into curricula. 

The only solution for this is to strengthen competition. School choice gives parents the freedom and opportunity to select the school best suited to their child. 

When families have practically no option other than public schools, the administrators and educators are not beholden to parents–and half the time, they think they know better than them. 

Fortunately, Indiana’s state legislature recently passed a budget proposal, in which millions of dollars are earmarked for vouchers to expand the state’s school choice program. 

Of the $43.3 billion budget, nearly half is set to go towards K-12 education. And of that 48%, one-third will be spent on the voucher program. 

No Democrats voted in favor of the proposal. However, It still passed, as Republicans make up a majority of the legislature.

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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