HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Almost 100 people gathered at Pennsylvania’s State Capitol on July 14 morning to try to keep Pennsylvania schools from teaching Critical Race Theory.
Local republican state representatives, Russ Diamond and Barb Gleim, are backing a bill that would limit how schools could teach concepts related to racism.
“Diversity is our greatest strength and if you don’t have diversity in what is taught, and you’re basically teaching a revisionist history, we’re only going to get more of the same. We’re going to get more divisiveness,” said state Rep. Chris Rabb (D – Philadelphia).
The concept of Critical Race Theory is not new. It teaches about the causes and symptoms of systematic racism, but like many opponents, Gleim believes it’s divisive, pitting students of different races against each other and leading some to be blamed.
“Telling kids they are inherently bad is completely the opposite of what education has been trying to instill in our children after a decade of anti-bullying programs and inclusivity efforts,” Gleim said.
Rabb, along with the state education secretary, points out that Critical Race Theory isn’t actually being taught in Pa. schools.
“Critical Race Theory is not being taught, but I do want to lay emphasis on the department’s stance around this area. We’re committed, as we have been, to the importance of equity, inclusion and belonging in all our schools, and so for us that remains the vision,” Noe Ortego, Pa. secretary of education, said.
Multiple states have already banned Critical Race Theory.