Teachers in Dallas, Fort Worth divulge how they keep Critical Race Theory alive despite Texas ban
May 23, 2023
Accuracy in Media’s undercover investigation into schools in the reliably red state of Texas revealed just how much educators are willing to do in order to teach the tenets of Critical Race Theory, despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s 2021 ban.
Asked whether the ban was changing the content they taught, administrators from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area admitted that it isn’t.
Some of them even indicated to AIM’s investigators on hidden camera that they were ignoring the ban altogether.
Tara Nichols, director of teaching and learning at Mesquite Independent School District, told investigators that the ban “really doesn’t” change anything.
Educators further revealed that, at the end of the day, teachers would close the door and teach what they want, regardless of the law.
In summer 2021, Abbott signed House Bill 3979. The law prohibits the teaching that some individuals are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.” And though the bill is written as specifically as possible to address CRT’s proliferation in schools, it has proven unsuccessful at keeping its principles out of the classroom.
According to Kelly Glos, social studies curriculum coordinator at Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD, “Most people close their doors and, you know.” Teach whatever they want.
“It’s really kind of hard not to talk about history in this way,” she said. “I mean every bit of our history has been given from a white person’s point of view because all of our resources are from that view.”
These educators explained to AIM’s investigators just how they’re able to skirt this law.
Evan Whitfield, director of science at Coppell ISD, shared that “we kind of dance, tap dance, around calling it anything.”
He also claimed that “We’ve gotten around it by saying, ‘Well, we’re just not teaching that.’”
Similarly, Donna Hodge, the advanced academic coordinator at Keller ISD, said “we talk about the specific things, not the big label.”
According to her, the principles of CRT and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are “kind of all embedded and there’s not like a department over it.”
Anne Marie Yarborough, who is the director of social studies at Richardson ISD, said, “The state curriculum still involves, you have to teach about slavery, you have to teach about… all of the things that might challenge Critical Race Theory are still in our state curriculum, which is mandated by law.”
Asked if educators would ignore the law, Pier Larson, director of social studies at Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, said, “I would say they’re going to teach what’s in here using those skills. And so the intent is it’s kind of ignoring what they were trying to accomplish but doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”
The educators revealed how they are intentionally using vague language to repackage the principles of CRT. And they say they aren’t planning to change the content until it’s made explicitly clear.
“We wait until we get a lot more direct instruction,” said Wendy Dutton, human resources director of McKinney ISD.
Dutton also said that nothing has changed in her district.
Some even claimed that they would never change the content.
“There are going to be things that will never be, no matter what anyone tells us, we’re not going to eliminate that,” said Lancaster ISD curriculum coordinator Angie Knight, who explained that her district is majority African-American.
“There are some things that just won’t happen,” she added.
According to Plano ISD’s director for diversity, equity and inclusion, Brian Lyons, “The language explicitly says – it doesn’t say anything about, you know, diversity or inclusion, but it says creating a safe and belonging environment.”
“When you start looking at inclusion, equity, those are – it’s rooted in that. And so, we can infuse – we can embed that into that. So, we’re going to do it. It’s just going to be under another requirement that the district has us do,” he told investigators.
If one thing has been made abundantly clear by these educators, it’s that bans have little to no effect on the content taught in public schools. In fact, they just seem to make schools even less transparent.
The best way for the government to ensure that parental rights are protected is to usher in more expansive school choice policies. This way, public schools will be forced to compete with alternative education options that may better suit the needs of parents, children, and families.
Schools would no longer have carte blanche to indoctrinate students with controversial theories and ideologies–as they would be forced to answer to parents, who could take their children and their money elsewhere.
Several school choice bills have already been introduced in the Texas state legislature this session.
Texas State Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston) introduced Senate Bill 176, which would be one of the largest school choice wins in the state if passed.
Middleton’s bill would “establish the Texas Parental Empowerment Program to provide funding for approved education-related expenses of eligible children admitted into the program.”
Under the bill, families of children who have opted out of their public school would receive a payment from the state for the average cost of a Texas student’s education, which is roughly $10,000 a year, per the Texas Tribune.
According to Middleton, “What my bill would do is it would empower every single parent in the state of Texas to choose which education works best for their children’s unique educational needs.”
It’s time for legislatures to give more freedom to parents and allow for competition when it comes to education.