If CRT is a theology it should never be taught in public schools, where we have a separation of church and state

July 19 – With more than 300 people coming out on a Sunday night to hear the seminar on Critical Race Theory at Antrim Brethren in Christ Church last night, it’s clear that this is a topic that concerns people in our area.

There were also educators in the audience, listening to what Matthew Odegaard, pastor and podcaster who has devoted considerable time to researching CRT, had to say.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed the seminar during the Big Talk this morning on First News.

For a written review of the seminar click here: https://tristatealert.com/crt-seminar-review/

For an audio interview of Matthew Odegaard click here: https://soundcloud.com/newstalk1037fm/17-july-pv-matthew-odegaard

Jansen said, “I begged teachers last week please come and hear. Not because you won’t necessarily agree with everything that is being said but because you need to understand why people are concerned. This is not about politics. This is not a lot of people listening to some focus group on how we can get the most votes for a certain party. That is not what this is about. These are people who’ve become alarmed because they’re hearing things coming from the classrooms that they don’t understand, they know it’s not correct. It doesn’t make sense from their point of view. They realize that their children are being taught an alternative way of interpreting the world. I’m sorry that is not what public school teachers are supposed to be giving our children. That’s a belief system. I thought we said separation of church and state in public schools. I know some of the teachers share these concerns. They’re not sure about it because we all need to educate ourselves more. Unfortunately education itself, the way they train teachers and what they tell teachers has become very narrowly focused within critical social justice. They’re not hearing these alternatives either. It was very important for people to come out and hear that.”

Ryan said, “When you’re striking the check for your school district and the money you’re paying for teachers and education and notebooks and all the rest of the stuff, Michele’s got a very good angle on this when it comes to the religion that is Critical Race Theory.”

Jansen pointed out, “You don’t have to have a PhD or a Master’s degree to be able to grasp a concept. You can actually study this stuff on your own. You can look at all kinds of points of view. Lots of research out there. Some of the criticism is he (Odegaard) doesn’t have a degree. Sociology degrees, I’m sorry, they’re a dime a dozen.”

Ryan added, “Some of the dumbest people I know have degrees.”

Jansen said, “This man is very well researched in this. And they say, well he gave it from a Christian perspective. Yes, he did. Why are Christians and others with different world views getting upset or concerned? Because this is a world view. This is a way to interpret the world according to critical social justice. To create a critical consciousness. Well that is a way of seeing the world. That is a belief system. A religion, if you will. And the NEA and the AFT is backing it. My argument is we’re no longer using public money for an ideology-free school. They’re making it an ideological school. Our public schools. If that’s the case then parents should be given that money in voucher so that they can decide which world view, which interpretation they’d like their child to be exposed to as their learning their ABCs.”

Barkdoll said, “I think it’s a great angle. I think it’s a valid point and I also think it’s why people need to be more attuned to this whole discussion. I’m really pleased to hear you say that there were educators there last night. I would be really curious to talk to them after the event to see what their opinion about this is. Did they go in with an open mind? And did they go away changing perhaps the way they felt about it. I think the angle you just presented is very valid. I think that’s why people need to be more plugged in to this whole issue. This affects people whether you have children in school or not. When you see groups like the NEA coming out and endorsing this. And they’re talking about making this day in October an all-day day about Critical Race Theory in public schools around the US. This is a real problem. If you’re a taxpayer. If you just live, work in these areas, it’s something that affects everybody. Having an event like that last night I think is a good way just to educate the public. People need to learn what this is about and how it may affect them in their day to day lives.”

Ryan wondered, “How do you untangle something like that? I love Michele’s idea of it’s a theology and since you’re not going to teach one thing, then either I get my money back or you knock it off. How would a parent or a taxpayer go, no. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to hear it and I want to be able to have access to all these teachers, a couple of them we know already signed a piece of paper last week or the week before saying screw you guys, I’m going to teach it anyway. In Gettysburg and in Chambersburg.”

Jansen asked, “What happens to a teacher who goes and starts teaching their religion? We’ve had teachers try to teach Christianity and guess what? They get fired. If they lead public prayer in school, they get fired. I think these teachers have to get fired, too.”

Barkdoll said, “I would see two potential angles to this. One would be direct complaints through a state department of education and/or a school board. It’s unlikely that those avenues would get you any relief in many states. Although I think it is in theory a way to address it. The second one of course would be just an outright lawsuit. Some kind of a class action or individual lawsuit where parents or taxpayers are alleging that there’s been a violation of the separation between church and state. This would be particularly pronounced in these – we’re up to five or six states now that have passed legislation that outright ban these teachings – certainly if this is happening in a classroom in those states, I think it would be even a more clear violation because there’s already legislation in place. I think that’s why everyone needs to be really aware of this because there could be scenarios either through the state department of education, through your local school board and/or through a court system where something like this would have to get untangled.”