Stafford County Board of Supervisors Denounces Critical Race Theory

 

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted six to zero with one absent to pass a resolution denouncing the use of Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and requiring students to identify preferred pronouns. The resolution also warns that the BOS will review all school board appropriation requests and block any that fund those items.

BE IT RESOLVED by the Stafford County Board of Supervisors on this the 21st day of September, 2021, that it be and hereby does denounce the teaching of the 1619 Project and critical race theory (CRT) and related principles in Stafford County Public Schools; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board does not support students of Stafford County Public Schools being required to identify their chosen pronouns,” the resolution as passed states.

Supervisor Gary Snellings, who introduced the resolution, said it was in response to parents’ concerns earlier in the year. He said that due to people using Facebook for information about the resolution, there was misunderstanding about what the resolution is.

“Nothing in this says we’re going to defund our schools, not one thing,” he said.

He said that the pronoun clause was not a ban on teachers asking students for their preferred pronouns, but a ban on requiring students to give their pronouns. “[State law] says if the student or the student’s parent goes to the teacher and asks that a preferred pronoun be applied to them or their child, the teacher must do that. Fine. No problem. No problem at all. What this is, they can’t be required.”

In a previous meeting on September 7, the BOS directed staff to prepare the resolution after hearing a presentation from Stafford County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Stanley Jones.

Jones told the BOS, “The answer to the question about CRT is simple. We don’t teach it, we never have. I know there’s a lot of emotion across the country about this issue. Every single thing we teach is publicly available and developed by the Virginia Department of Education. So we don’t teach it.”

On Tuesday, Snellings said Delegate Joshua Cole (D-Stafford) and Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) called the BOS the day after September 7 meeting, and that others had called Snellings a racist.

“I’m not sure how everybody got upset about this thing. We had the meeting with Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones said we’re not doing it [teaching CRT], fine. If you’re not doing it, you’re not doing it. What this resolution says, we don’t want you doing it in the future,” he said.

School Director of Public and Community Relations Sandra Osborn said in a statement to The Virginia Star, “Stafford County Public Schools does not teach, nor do we promote, the philosophy of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in any of our schools. The Stafford County Public Schools K12 History and Social Science Program is based on the Virginia Standards of Learning and the accompanying History and Social Science Curriculum Framework.”

Many people in Stafford County spoke on the resolution, with some commenters expressing concern about the lack of definition of CRT in the resolution.

“The ambiguity of this resolution needs to be resolved before taking a vote on it,” resident Monica Gary said. “To threaten to pull funding from our already chronically underfunded school system in an attempt to enforce your own worldview on others is unacceptable.”

Other speakers expressed skepticism about claims that CRT isn’t being taught and supported the resolution.

“I do not trust some of the school board, nor this interim superintendent. Sadly, racial politics have invaded every aspect of our lives irresponsibly. However, slavery is an evil place of our history that must be responsibly discussed in the proper context with the great strides we have made to ensure character advances,” resident Daniel Cortez said.

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Stafford County Board of Supervisors” by lowkell.

 

 

 

 

 

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