WILLIAMSBURG, VA ( Associated Press) — A local school board in Virginia has decided against purchasing some new social studies textbooks due to concerns from some citizens that one of the books encourages “divisive teachings,” including critical race theory.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that the Williamsburg-James City County School Board voted 4-3 on Tuesday not to purchase the books.
Board Chairman Greg Dowell said he found nothing wrong with the overall content of the book. But they said they could not vote “yes” because of the controversy surrounding it and the possibility that it could lead to further “community divisions”.
“We are coming out of a period of discord in our community and in our country, and it seems to all of us,” Dowell said.
The concern’s textbook is “Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy”, often taught in advanced placement government and politics classes. It examines current events and public policy, citing examples of political unrest.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, a citizen claimed that the book was biased and left-wing. Another said that the cover photo is a kind of sermon. This photo is of a protest outside the US Capitol that read, “Silence is Violence,” “Not Justice No Peace,” and “Stop Killing Black People.”
critical race theory There is a way to think about America’s history through the lens of racism. There is little evidence that it is being taught to K-12 public school students, although some ideas are central to it, such as the long-lasting consequences of slavery.
The proposed textbooks are in line with the state education standards and have been vetted by the state education department. The vote means that students must use textbooks that are at least 12 years old.
Board member Kyra Cook voted in favor of buying textbooks.
“I think we deprived our children of new textbooks and denied our teachers the opportunity to use new material,” she said. “Our employees went through a rigorous process and identified opportunities for improvement.”