ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Demonstrators outside the Forest Hills School District board of education meeting Monday night called on the district to denounce critical race theory and eliminate what they said are aspects of CRT that have made their way into classrooms, despite repeated claims by teachers that it's not being taught.
“I don’t think they understand what’s really going on with this type of indoctrination,” said Michael Connaughton, parent of a Forest Hills School District graduate. “Kids want to be kids, man. They want to play. They want to go out and play sports, play ball.”
The protest was led by three people running for the school board.
“I think the real message in school should be kindness and being nice to everyone,” said Katie Stewart, Forest Hills school board candidate.
Another candidate, and one of the people who created the current program used by the district in 2017, also showed up to say CRT is not involved.
“We are not teaching critical race theory in K-12,” said Wendy Strickler Biederman. “We are teaching kids to respect and value their diversity and the diversity of others and be a community of learners.”
Teachers currently participate in the CARE program to learn about issues related to diversity and inclusion to better understand and connect with students of all backgrounds.
“I think it’s incredibly important that we find common ground,” said Forest Hills school board member Leslie Rasmussen. “At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: wellness for kids. We need to find those points we can agree upon.”
Protesters said they want to see the district get rid of the CARE program, but the district is still saying that the program does not involve CRT and nobody teaches the theory in the first place.
The same group of protesters showed up at last month’s school board meeting.
In May, two bills were introduced in the Ohio General Assembly to ban critical race theory from being taught in schools in grades K through 12.