States

Allow Critical Race Theory—and Opposing Views—in Kentucky Schools, Ed. Chief Says

By Valarie Honeycutt Spears, Lexington Herald-Leader — July 08, 2021 1 min read
The exterior of the Kentucky State Capitol is seen in Frankfort, Ky. on April 7, 2021.
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Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass urged lawmakers to consider an alternative to banning critical race theory.

Glass on Tuesday recommended to lawmakers on the Interim Joint Education Committee that they enact a statute that forces conversations on race to have balanced perspectives. His proposal would require any classroom discussions or lessons on the issues to also share the critiques and criticisms of critical race theory that have been offered. That would help students make their own informed decisions on the theory, he said.

Glass said critical race theory is a decades-old legal and academic theory that seeks to explain why racism continues to exist. It’s a theory intended to provide a framework for studying potential causes and effects of racism in society and how those might be mitigated.

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Conceptual illustration of the flag of the United States with the stripes changing to black and white, cutout people representing the black and white population and Black student in the classroom with hand raised.
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The alternate approach Glass suggested still allows local school-based councils to make curriculum decisions for their schools, the commissioner said.

And if a school-based council decides to have some class that covers critical race theory, it would also need to provide balanced perspectives and opposing viewpoints.

The alternative approach does not put a legislative body in the business of banning or censoring ideas or free speech or limiting the free exchange of ideas in the classrooms, Glass said. He warned previously that attempts to pass a proposed ban on the theory in Kentucky schools could be challenged in court.

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Copyright (c) 2021, Lexington Herald-Leader. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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