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School board president explains resolution to ban Critical Race Theory

Peninsula High School (Peninsula School District)

The Peninsula School District board voted unanimously (5-0) to keep Critical Race Theory out of the curriculum.

David Olson, the district’s school board president, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that just in the past few months, more and more parents have come forward to ask the district not to implement a Critical Race Theory curriculum.

“We said, this is really important,” Olson said. “We have a lot of our people who are definitely adamant about this curriculum, especially as it was tied to the recently passed Senate Bill 5044 by the governor. A lot of parents were concerned that training teachers across the state could then creep down into the classroom. As their voices got louder and louder, our school board decided it was time to take action.”

Olson said there has been some criticism that school boards aren’t taking a stronger position one way or the other. Admittedly, his board’s resolution could have taken a stronger position against Critical Race Theory, but he felt a unanimous vote was more important to send a message that the board was unified.

“I know that one of the paragraphs that we put in there that was really important for the board was that we didn’t want our teachers or students being trained or taught that they’re oppressors or victims based on the color of their skin,” he said.

That paragraph reads: “All teachers, students, and support staff are equal as individuals and no one race, gender, ethnicity, or religion is superior or inferior as it relates to another. And no student, teacher, or support staff member should be taught that they are an oppressor or victim based on their race.”

Olson said his family was fortunate enough to travel around the world while he was in the Navy and was able to experience other cultures. He said his kids don’t see their friends based on race or the color of their skin.

“They’re just their friends. I just think that’s really important and, unfortunately, some people have hijacked that term of ‘equity’ to be not equal opportunity but equal outcome,” he said. “I just don’t agree with that.”

He said the district felt responsible to make a statement after the National Education Association recently came out to say it fully supports Critical Race Theory across the country in K-12 schools.

Olson said the district’s resolution doesn’t say schools shouldn’t teach history. But they will teach history accurately and without bias.

“I believe personal bias should be checked at the door and let’s teach history accurately, warts and all,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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