On July 12, 2021, the Superintendent of South Carolina’s Kershaw County School District presented and answered questions during a Kershaw County Republican Party (KCGOP) meeting. Several community members and parents of Kershaw County schools attended the meeting to ask questions of Dr. Shane Robbins. During his presentation, Dr. Robbins said Critical Race Theory is not being taught in Kershaw County schools but talked about Culturally Responsive Teaching, which is being implemented. When USPIE President Sheri Few, who lives in Kershaw County, told him that Culturally Responsive Teaching is the same as Critical Race Theory, later in the Q&A session, he said it was not. Mrs. Few then went back to the microphone and asked him to prove they were not the same and he agreed to send her the teacher training materials for Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Another interesting fact arose from Dr. Robbins’ presentation to the KCGOP. He touted a 30-year-old South Carolina law as the rationale for a new high school course titled African American Studies. He talked about a District African American Studies Committee that worked with a consultant from the University of South Carolina. The committee was directed to develop a course and provide staffing for a high school African American Studies course to be offered in 2021-22. For Elementary and Middle schools, they were directed to embed culturally relevant resources in all subjects, add additional resources to curriculum guides and provide examples for teachers. A description of the high school African American Studies course found on the District’s website says, “Throughout U.S. History, African-Americans have faced great adversity in the form of enslavement and institutional racism. They fought for their freedom and worked to right a broken system, but their struggles continue today.”
On July 27, 2021, the Kershaw County School Board held a Special Called Meeting to discuss the federal ESSER III funds. Mrs. Few spoke during the public comment period and told the Board that Critical Race Theory is not a curriculum or a book you can identify in a K-12 school. She explained it is a pedagogy predicated upon equity, and equity is very different from equality. Equity, she said, otherwise known as “Culturally Responsive Teaching,” and “Diversity and Inclusion” is being implemented through teacher training. She said equity is about equal outcomes, which is impossible and will eventually lead to discrimination. She further explained to the Board that parents had requested to see the federal ESSER III full application because the application requires the District to certify it will advance equity and inclusivity, but parents were denied access to the plan. During the Board meeting, two Board members made pontificating comments about being opposed to Critical Race Theory and even suggested Dr. Robbins was “playing with fire” and utilizing semantics, and yet the Board voted unanimously in favor of budget categories for ESSER III without knowing HOW the district will advance equity and inclusion. It could be that the African American Studies Committee work is the plan for the District to advance equity and inclusion in order to qualify for $24 million in federal funds. Mrs. Few proposed the Board refuse the federal ESSER III funding, which mandates advancing the equity agenda. She said we need pedagogy that reflects local community values and we will never have that if we don’t stop taking federal funds with strings attached.
The day following the Board meeting, and ten days after Mrs. Few requested information from the KCGOP meeting, Dr. Robbins emailed a letter to Mrs. Few telling her she would need to access the Culturally Responsive Teaching training materials through the Freedom of Information Act. The letter also included responses to some other information she requested such as the name of the consultant who was hired to help develop the African American Studies course being implemented in high schools this year. After reviewing just two of the consultant Dr. Gloria Boutte’s most recent publications on “Culturally Relevant Teaching,” it is clear Critical Race Theory and its equity agenda is the impetus for the required course she teaches for preservice teachers at the University of South Carolina.
On August 2, 2021, Mrs. Few completed a Freedom of Information Request for the Culturally Responsive Teaching training materials. Through the Freedom of Information Act, Mrs. Few also requested documents related to the African American Studies course development and relative training materials, and for a copy of the contract between Dr. Boutte and the Kershaw County School District. More will be reported when those documents are received, but it appears Kershaw County School District is up to their eyeballs in Critical Race Theory (CRT), a.k.a. Culturally Responsive Teaching, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
This type of scenario is playing out all over the country. In very liberal regions of the country, they are not shying away from the fact that they are teaching Critical Race Theory, but in other regions like the Southeast, they deny they are teaching it; denounce it publicly, and naïve school board members blindly trust the Superintendent and staff is telling the truth. Parents need to keep digging until they uncover this racist, Marxist poison so they can eradicate it from their schools. They need to start by looking into teacher trainings, and ESSER III plans. Read Dr. Boutte’s publications from the link above where she describes how she uses teacher training to indoctrinate teachers with the anticipation that they will influence their students to become activists to end White supremacy and White oppression.
Visit www.uspie.org to join the movement to return local and parental control of education. USPIE will keep you in the loop with the latest education policy issues that are harming children and threatening our country’s freedom. Also, inquire about a USPIE chapter in your state to stay on top of local education concerns.