The governing board of the Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) in California has voted 3-2 to approve a consulting contract with an anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) attorney who will educate teachers, parents, and students about the ideology and the “myth” of systemic racism.
The board approved a consulting agreement with Attorney Christopher Arend, 71, of Paso Robles. Minutes from the board’s March 14 meeting state:
Christopher Arend will provide the Temecula Valley Unified School District with consulting services. The consulting services will cover the history and substance of CRT, addressing the specific content of the resolution condemning racism and the resolution banning the teaching of CRT adopted by the Temecula Valley Unified School District Governing Board on December 13, 2022. Some members of the Governing Board have heard this consultant speak and would like to make his services available to certificated staff. The services will be provided in person on two days, in multiple sessions each day, and will be optional for staff.
The agreement states TVUSD will pay Arend $400 per hour for an optional Zoom lecture to management personnel and $1,000 per in-person two-hour sessions. Meetings with student groups are to be billed at the same $400 per hour rate. Public forum meetings will be charged at either the $1,000 rate for two-hour sessions, or a $500 hourly rate – whichever rate is higher.
The contract is effective February 13 through June 30, 2023.
According to Patch, newly elected TVUSD governing board members Dr. Joseph Wayne Komrosky (Trustee Area 4), Jennifer Wiersma (Trustee Area 3), and Danny Gonzalez (Trustee Area 2) voted to approve Arend’s consulting agreement, while Allison Barclay (Trustee Area 1) and Steven Schwartz (Trustee Area 5) voted against it.
Gonzalez headed the campaign to approve Arend’s consulting agreement.
Arend served on the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District board from 2018-2022. During his service term, the board banned the teaching of CRT in all of its schools, the Patch report noted.
On March 22, a TVUSD board workshop at James L. Day Middle School will feature a six-member panel, including Arend. District teachers, parents, and students are invited to attend the event.
In an interview with Patch two weeks ago, Arend said he is qualified to lecture on CRT because he has studied the doctrine for many years through books and law reviews.
“CRT is very complex and most people don’t understand it,” he said, emphasizing that the reason why he will be presenting lectures is to “educate people.”
Arend said his lecture “describes the substance of CRT primarily by using quotes from CRT authors, such as Delgado/Stefancic (authors of Critical Race Theory – An Introduction),” which he describes as “the main textbook.” His lecture also includes passages from Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility), and Ibram C. Kendi (How to be an Anti-racist).
Asserting that CRT is not open to different interpretations, Arend referred to “systemic racism” as a “myth” in an op-ed he wrote in September 2020 for CalCoastNews.com.
“Systemic racism is based on a definition of racism that downplays or even eliminates the aspect of individual racial prejudice and instead uses a collectivist approach to ascribe collective guilt (All whites are racist.) and collective innocence (Blacks cannot be racist.),” he wrote.
“The concept of systemic racism categorizes people as oppressors (all white Americans) and those who resist oppression (all people of color, especially black Americans),” Arend continued. “This divides the country and easily leads to violence directed against the system.”
He observed how CRT had been used in academia:
The academic world has used intellectual sleight-of-hand to create the new definition of racism and the concept of systemic racism. America now has a cadre of thousands of ethnic studies instructors in our institutions of higher learning and diversity specialists in our business and governmental institutions who operate on the basis of the new definition.
“The doctrine of ‘systemic racism,’” Arend summarized, “is … in essence, nothing more than intellectual contortion intended to sow division in the United States of America while causing immeasurable harm specifically to the people who the political left supposedly wants to help.”
– – –
Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Teacher and Students in a Classroom” by Pavel Danilyuk.