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Local meeting on Critical Race Theory sparks heated debate

Posted at 6:55 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 11:15:08-04

NAPLES, Fla. — A local meeting on teaching Critical Race Theory in Southwest Florida Schools is opening a new chapter in the controversy.

As we have previously reported, Critical Race Theory, or CRT claims landmark civil rights laws and Supreme Court rulings have had little impact on the Black community.

Supporters say it promotes “race consciousness” and helps students understand the distribution of political and economic power in an effort to make kids better recognize racism and prejudice in their lives.

Both sides of the Critical Race Theory debate made their voices heard Tuesday outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Administrative building for the Collier County Schools, as State Legislators met to discuss Critical Race Theory.

The Collier County School District said CRT is not part of what they teach.

“CRT is not, and will not be part of the District's curriculum, and teaching and learning framework,” it wrote in a statement.

The school district said wants to teach history without distorting American and World history.

Laura Angelus, a parent, said she wants to see CRT in schools.

“It's important to be honest, and teach accurate history for all,” she said. “I don’t even know why we are talking about Critical Race Theory. Even {Representative Byron Donalds} mentioned you would be hard-pressed to find any aspect of CRT in school from K-12.”

Congressional Representative Byron Donalds addressed the crowd on Tuesday. He said CRT doesn’t consider recent events.

“Our history is clear. We know what it is. It’s a dark one at times. I know that full well, but unfortunately, what CRT doesn’t do is examine the progress America has made over the last six to eight years. It ignores the progression of us as a people,” he said. “I am very happy that Dr. Patton and the school board said that CRT won’t be taught in our schools.”

Parents like Yvette Benarroch agree.

“We don’t want anything that has to deal you talking about one oppressing race over another one. We've got to teach history as it is," she said.

For Angelus, that includes teaching CRT.

“While learning about racism may make people uncomfortable, as it should, it is necessary to label and discuss a problem if the intention is to fix it," Angelus said.