Fort Worth School District offers teachers a course on 'critical race theory'

Fort Worth, Texas parents concerned over race-based curriculum

Erika Sanzi, director of outreach at Parents Defending Education, spoke with ‘Fox & Friends’ on Fort Worth Independent School District pushing race-based curriculum.

The Fort Worth, Texas, public school district has insisted that its schools do not teach Critical Race Theory, but a document and videos suggest that the school district has inculcated the key tenets of CRT into its teacher trainings and practices, even giving teachers and staff a class introducing them to “critical race theory.”

“The superintendent and the bureaucracy are doing a disservice to the students by teaching them that color is everything, that America is oppressive, and that White supremacy is everywhere,” Carlos Turcios, a young activist who organizes parent protests and who spent four years on the district’s Racial Equity Committee, told Fox News in an interview on Monday. “Last time I checked, critical race theory doesn’t help kids learn how to pay the bills, pay their taxes, or pass that job interview.”

Turcios cited numerous examples of what he characterized as Fort Worth Independent School District implementing CRT — a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to discover systemic racism beneath the surface.

Turcios pointed to a direct mention of CRT in the “Overview of Services” provided by Fort Worth ISD’s Division of Equity and Excellence in September 2020. The document describes a virtual course offering for “professional development” titled “Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Fort Worth ISD: An Introduction.” 

The course offers “a working understanding of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and its central tenets” including “the permanence of racism, whiteness as property,” and “critique of liberalism.” It also offers “an understanding of the endemic nature of racism and white supremacy to US society at its founding and into the present” and “the ability to read, understand, and apply CRT as an analysis tool in their current roles.”

“As a culminating activity, participants will develop their own Racial Equity Strategic Plan to move more deeply into critical self-reflection and work towards implementing their plan into the participants current roles,” the course description reads.

Fort Worth ISD Equity & Excellence overview of services

Turcios also shared a video that he took from the 2019 Fort Worth ISD Racial Equity Summit, in which an instructor tells the staff and teachers who voluntarily attended that each of them will find a ribbon matching his or her stated racial identity: “You’re going to go into sessions with everyone who identifies with your race.” This comports with the event’s schedule, which breaks discussions down into “racial affinity groups.”

And he shared a Zoom video of the 2020 Racial Equity Summit in which an instructor discusses “internalized racism,” by which “we internally believe that White is supreme, and it requires a constant process of ridding ourselves of this colonized mentality.” She references a quote attributed to James Baldwin, reading, “a little white man deep inside of all of us.” (A full video of the session appears on Facebook here.)

In another 2020 Racial Equity Summit video, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner celebrates various “accomplishments” the district has had since the COVID-19 pandemic began. He discusses the “racial and equity policy,” which “outlines institutional racism through our system, so we are recognizing that it exists here in Fort Worth ISD.” And he mentions “looking forward to our conversations” about various topics, including “an introduction to critical race theory.” (The full video including his remarks is here.)

In May, a Fort Worth ISD spokesperson told FOX 4 that the district has no plans to include CRT in its school curriculum. The spokesperson said that there is no course offered to students on CRT, though the district does offer courses on African American and Mexican American history.

“All of this has allowed a toxic environment to be built, where parents have been threatened with a thousand soldiers ‘locked and loaded,’ where parents have been doxxed, an environment of bullying, an environment of elitism, and an environment of failure,” Turcios said. “The superintendent should resign, and several directors should resign as well.”

Turcios pointed to the shocking statistic that only 28% of third to eighth grade students met grade level on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness math and reading exams. 

YouTube screenshot of Malikk Austin at a Fort Worth school board meeting.
(Fort Worth ISD)

Miriam Cole, a former school nurse in Fort Worth ISD who has two grandchildren in the public schools, told Fox News that Scribner “is just 100% on board with CRT.”

Cole said she has been organizing parents in an effort to replace Scribner and members of the school board. She noted that despite Fort Worth’s low reading levels, Scribner focused on transgender bathroom policies when he started as superintendent in 2015.

A current Fort Worth ISD employee and parent of a student in Fort Worth public schools told Fox News that the Department of Equity and Excellence is “definitely pushing critical race theory,” although the employee said, “I can’t say for certain how much it filters down into the classroom.”

Fort Worth ISD declined to respond to Fox News’ request for comment, saying Scribner is on vacation for Thanksgiving week. The members of the school board did not respond to requests for comment.

Fort Worth Independent School District
(Google Maps)

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