Paradkar: Is teaching kids about racism scary? Exploring the critical race theory bogeyman in Ontario

Really liked some of the examples of student projects that reflect the perspectives of different minority groups, not just Blacks:

A Florida bill banning schools and businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach about discrimination.

A Georgia teacher asking fourth-graders to write a letter to the seventh U.S. president, Andrew Jackson, on how removing members of the Cherokee Nation would help America grow and prosper.

Texas schools pulling books by dozens of Black authors off library shelves.

What a short-lived reckoning on race this has been. Eight states have passed legislation to restrict the teaching of racism and bias in public schools. Another 20 have introduced legislation, or plan to.

A manic panic has taken root in the U.S. over supposed critical race theory (CRT) teachings in education, and on the pretext of banning it, conservatives, cheered on by erstwhile free-speech warriors, are simply limiting conversations on racism and anti-Blackness in particular.

Because Canadians tend to be faithful copycats of American toxicity, we can rest assured a subtle pushback is underway here, too. One way to prevent it from taking hold in education is — education. School boards mandating Black studies in the curriculum would not only validate Black lives in school but also show everyone why such opposition is unnecessary.

We are not there yet, which is why a new course on Deconstructing Anti-Black Racism being taught in a couple of dozen Ontario schools feels not so much like progress, in this moment, as resistance.

It’s a Grade 12 course that was developed in 2020 by four Black teachers at Toronto’s Newtonbrook Secondary School in response to student inquiries in the wake of the global reckoning. The Toronto District School Board approved and published it, thus opening it up for use by other school boards. It is being taught in about 17 schools, the board said.

Source: Is teaching kids about racism scary? Exploring the critical race theory bogeyman in Ontario

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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