A Minnesota student recently braved her local school board meeting to articulate her experience with critical race theory at school.
A student in the White Bear Lake Area Schools district said she started to “notice changes” in her school last year. Students were no longer working together as usual, she said, but “seemed to be hesitant” with each other.
She realized the change was stemming from her teachers, according to a video of her speech at a Monday school board meeting that reportedly had over 100 people in attendance.
“I looked to our teachers and realized what happened. Our teachers had started to teach us about racism,” she said. But they didn’t just teach the “history of it.”
“They taught from opinionated statements,” the student explained. “Some of the things that they taught us were statements about how one group of people was worse than the other.”
She noted that this did not help students unite but only pushed them apart.
“White supremacy” was one of her vocabulary words, which made her “feel insecure and bad” about herself, the student shared. She said some of the lessons became personal when teachers called out people who “fit the description” of her father and grandfathers.
“School should be a place where people can feel included, not judged by something they can’t change,” she said.
The student said the school should make more time for team-building activities and for students to share their different cultures in class, instead of letting “politically driven adults” teach their opinions.
“We are all different, so let’s embrace that and bring it into our curriculum. Let’s have students and teachers of different cultures teach us about their experiences, so we can understand one another better,” she said.
The student said she is not excited to go back to school like she usually is, which is due to the division between students created by teachers.
White Bear Lake made national headlines earlier this year when a student was sent racist and threatening messages that turned out to be a hoax. Another student was wrongly accused of sending the messages and spoke out on Fox & Friends about her experience.
The second draft of the Minnesota social studies standards was released a few weeks ago, and it is dominated by “ethnic studies,” of which critical race theory is a building block.