CRT in Your School:
5 Ways it’s Dividing Kids Across America
It’s the new racism.
It’s as ugly as it sounds. Through CRT, racism has been reborn, restored, and reinvigorated. And it’s almost certainly in a school near you.
This race-baiting ideology slithered into existence as Critical Race Theory in the late ’80s has now grabbed a prominent place in education. Its divisive concepts do nothing to remedy our country’s past sins. Instead, they seek to undo nearly every aspect of America’s founding principles.
Senior Fellow from the Manhattan Institute, Christopher Rufo explained CRT’s core belief system this way: “Critical race theory maintains that the racist United States is a fundamentally flawed country and that all of its institutions from the Constitution to the law, to the nuclear family, to the social institutions, manners, and mores preach the values of liberty and equality, but those are really just a smoke screen for naked racial domination.” 1
Recently, Kali Fontanilla, a devoted teacher by calling and passion, shared her alarming story on our podcast Why I Left Teaching: Crisis in American Schools. She left her tenured position in Salinas, California, after blowing the whistle on “Ethnic Studies” (aka CRT) lessons in her school. Though a black woman herself (she is racially half-Jamaican), the school board president called her “anti-people of color” when she presented her reasoned objections about CRT.
In her home state, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law mandating an ethnic studies course as a prerequisite for high school graduation. Kali’s Salinas school district was among the first to dive in wholeheartedly with a 9th-grade course. Discovering her own English as a Second Language students’ sagging grades in that Ethnic Studies class, Kali became curious.
The name “Ethnic” studies or “Cultural” studies may sound appealing. Kali explained, “Maybe we’re learning about ethnicities…different cultures and traditions, which I think is wonderful, but that’s not what this course is about.” Though a seasoned educator, what she discovered was jaw-dropping, even to her. Her learnings revealed five ways CRT is dividing kids across America.
1. Privilege Pretext
Kali could access the Ethnic Studies class content on a shared online teachers’ space. According to her review, on day five, the students are given a “privilege test” to develop a sort of social hierarchy within the classroom.
The test comprises carefully crafted questions like “Do you have teachers who look like you?” “Do you have books in your house?” One even asks whether ” immigrants ” are in the household to help point students to their own personal victimhood ranking. Each falls on a spectrum ranging from “oppressor” to “oppressed.”
A teen may have entered the class feeling okay about life, only to discover that they are “suffering” in ways they had not imagined. Others learn they should embrace their inherent guilt.2
Not a new concept, CRT has been trendy and thriving on college campuses for more than a decade. The University of San Francisco’s campaign began in 2014 to help students and staff “Check Your Privilege.” 3 They posted signs around campus bearing statements like “If you can expect time off to celebrate your religious holidays, you have Christian privilege.” 4 Another read, “If you are confident that the police exist to protect you, you have white male privilege.” 5 Other posters address being heterosexual, cisgender, and able-bodied – all conditions that should produce shame and indebtedness if they describe you.
Kali shared how this plays out in today’s high school classrooms. As students reveal their answers, those newly-labeled oppressors are asked to contemplate that status with their peers, experiencing the necessary shame, a sort of privilege pretext. The others – primarily those with black or brown skin, are taught that they are victims of their unwitting classmates and a country that will never treat them fairly – unless forced.
2. “Oppression Olympics”
According to Kali, a sort of “oppression Olympics” is playing out in the classroom, aided by Kimberle’ Crenshaw’s now famous “intersectionality” concepts.
Closely tied to assessments of privilege, intersectionality invites students to embrace their various attributes that intersect to create increasing levels of victimhood. These concepts are often depicted with overlapping circles, each bearing a descriptive word. One ring may have the word “woman,” another “non-white,” and yet another, “non-gender conformed.” 6
So with those, if you are female – bing! If you are a woman of color – bing! If you are a woman who is transgender – then it’s a trifecta of intersecting oppression. Obviously, the only ones who don’t fare well on the chart – or in any aspect of CRT – are white, heterosexual men. They don’t qualify for any prizes when it comes to the supposed nobility of suffering oppression.
Of course, these guidelines don’t consider that the white guy who is tagged “oppressor” may have grown up in poverty, abused, or as an orphan. CRT doesn’t weigh those things – simply that his skin color has deemed him guilty. Kali explained that one of the natural hazards of this classification system could find kids looking for any opportunity to fit the categories to achieve oppressed status.
Might it play into the popular trends of young kids declaring themselves transgender? Those who reject traditional sexuality and gender receive reinforcement and acceptance in this system simply for identifying with non-traditional concepts.
3. Equity Earthquake
Where the Civil Rights Movement championed equality, the cry of this movement is equity.
Both sound noble, right? 7
Equality gives people the same landscape of opportunity to pursue and achieve.
Naturally, gifted, talented, wealthy, or even those lacking some blessings but possessing ambition and an unquenchable work ethic can rise above the crowd – and have throughout American history. Sometimes referred to as American grit- or individualism – think of it as the innate desire that drove our nation’s earliest pioneers and the unrelenting minds behind our space program.
Equity, on the other hand, demands that everyone receives the same outcome. It’s a Marxist concept that has been repackaged to sound better.
The problem with the creation of an equitable utopia is the fact that people are different both in starting circumstances and ability.
One woman may pulse with entrepreneurial drive and a brilliant idea that propels her to wealth and success. At the same time, another may find untold riches surrounded by six children who are schooled and loved by this mom at home. Our colorful and diverse gifts and difficult circumstances are hardly a recipe for equity.
In recent weeks, administrators in 13 Virginia schools withheld news of National Merit Scholar awards from the deserving winners – in the name of equity.
One of the top honors a high school student can achieve, this nationally recognized honor can open doors for scholarships or admission to desired universities. Instead, this act left hard-working students in the rubble of an equity earthquake.
Most students are unable to attain such a lofty award. Let’s face it, there are different levels of academic ability naturally among students. Of course, those winners possessed talent and logged countless hours of study and dedicated work, neglecting parties, TV, and gaming.
Governor Youngkin launched an investigation into the outrageous acts – and said in a recent story reported by Fox News that these schools “have a maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs. And at the heart of the American dream is excelling, is advancing, is stretching, and recognizing that we have students that have different capabilities. Some students have the ability to perform at one level, others need more help, and we have to allow students to run as fast as they can to dream the biggest dreams they can possibly dream, and then go get them.” 8
Different outcomes are a natural part of life, not a sign of oppression. The Bible sums up what our response should look like regardless of how life turns out, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Unfortunately, gratitude is not part of the agenda.
4. Tradition Takedown
One lesson Kali found within the Ethnic Studies curriculum was dedicated to the organization Black Lives Matter. It’s always important to stress that we at MFA hold that all lives have intrinsic value – and all matter. Unfortunately, BLM hasn’t turned out to be all its name suggested it would be. Having raised 90 million dollars following the tragic death of George Floyd, the organization, many would offer, has done little to help “black lives.” 9
At the end of that focused and positive lesson promoting BLM to students, each student must share how they plan to support BLM.
Not if they will, but how they will.
Founded by an admitted Marxist, Patrisse Cullors, BLM philosophies dovetail with CRT’s, and together they promote a dangerous agenda. The most troubling precepts of this ideology suggest that much of what we know and love about this nation – is utterly irredeemable.
Ethnic studies indoctrinate our young and vulnerable students into believing our American Constitution is flawed beyond repair. Constructed by racists, they claim it is designed to serve the “oppressors” and to victimize everyone else. The ideals of capitalism are also demonized – but it gets worse.
The traditional nuclear family and marriage are squarely in the crosshairs of this destructive worldview. They also consider Christianity to be a construct of white supremacy. 10
Nothing short of a full-blown American tradition takedown will do. No wonder hopelessness can be felt in this generation, as revealed by increasing suicide rates among our youth. 11
Mamas, we hope your kids have been spared and that you have a great school that has skirted this alarming content. Or maybe you homeschool, and we applaud you for that bold move.
If you aren’t sure, we want to encourage you to investigate your school’s involvement with CRT. You may have even heard denials in the press, with some school officials claiming it doesn’t exist! But there are hidden traps throughout our educational system. 12
Look for classes like the one Kali described, deceptively named Ethnic Studies, or others that have varying titles using buzzwords like “diversity,” “inclusion,” “equity,” and “cultural.”
Also, be aware that though there may not be an official class, some teachers have taken it upon themselves to include aspects of CRT in their curriculum. Some schools have demanded that teachers personally read CRT-related material to guide their thinking on these topics.
These concepts play havoc on classrooms and the quality of education. The specter of racism – real and imagined – has changed the environment in classrooms nationwide.
“In California, you can’t suspend a student for being willfully defiant anymore,” said Kali. “So if a student is cussing out a teacher or threatening a teacher, you can’t suspend that student because there was a higher rate of black and brown kids getting suspended – they thought immediately that it’s because of racism in the school.”
All is not lost, mamas. Every day more light is being shined on these educational atrocities thanks to teachers like Kali and others who are willing to lay everything on the line out of genuine care for America’s children.
More good news: Kali’s experiences prompted her to start a unique new online school – the K-12, fully accredited Exodus Institute. Along with a robust curriculum and America-friendly teachers, they have opened another option for families. She and her husband teach an enrichment course families can use to supplement and counter the lies of CRT.
Stay vigilant, mamas, and don’t be fooled. Be ready to discuss issues with your children, so they are armed with truth, love, and acceptance.
Check out part two of this series, coming soon, where we’ll discuss more actions you can take to safeguard your family.
2 Prager U
11 UCLA Health