Community members present concerns with Critical Race Theory at Alexandria school board meeting
The Alexandria school board met on Monday night, June 21, for its regular meeting to discuss the preliminary budget, new technology plan and welcomed back the six dismissed LTR staff members. The board was also presented with concerns over Critical Race Theory.
Similar to the gripes with District 206’s past and future COVID-19 protocols , the community members who showed up by the dozens to the Alexandria School Board’s regular meeting are concerned with potential curriculum changes.
In the “Delegations and Individuals” portion of the meeting, several people in the audience took the stand to express their thoughts on Critical Race Theory (CRT).
According to edweek.org, CRT is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.
There’s no doubt the social justice movement has picked up over the last 13 months, and CRT is one of the most controversial topics when it comes to education. District 206 did not make any comments on CRT at Monday’s meeting, nor was it on the agenda, but some community members showed up to voice their stance on the matter.
“CRT is possibly the greatest upset to our education system,” Gabriel Anderson, a father of three students in the district, said. “It is 180 degrees different from the practices of Martin Luther King. The content of our character is what we are supposed to be judged by. That’s what Martin Luther King said. That’s exactly the opposite of CRT is… If that comes into our school, we’re out.”
Other parents echoed Anderson’s stance on CRT.
Parents and community members are concerned with CRT after the “Raising Our Standards Tour” passed through Alexandria on June 15. The caravan toured larger areas of the state to denounce the practices of CRT.
Other items of note
During the “Delegations” portion of the meeting, one community member, Judd Hoff, voiced his displeasure with political vendors at the Alexandria trap shooting competition. Hoff believes it’s not right for booths at a high school trap shooting event to sell political merchandise. Angie Krebbs, the board chair, said that it’s not a matter of the district to approve or deny merchandise booths at the trapshooting event, but will pass the information to the right people in the future.
Trevor Peterson presented the 2021-22 preliminary budget. The district is using a conservative-budget philosophy for the time being until they get more information from the Minnesota Legislature. Peterson and Sansted noted the budget totals could change throughout the course of the fiscal year.
The district is welcoming back its six Learning Resource Teachers that were put on an unrequested leave of absence during the school year. The district planned to welcome back the staff members once it received the annual grant from the state. The board unanimously approved the reinstatements effective June 21.
The board was presented with the 2021-25 first reading of the technology plan. It’s no longer required by law for schools to submit a technology plan anymore. The district is eyeing several improvements in areas such as live streaming, website accessibility and keeping students up to date with technology.