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Group rallies against Poway Unified ethnic studies courses offered in the Fall

Posted at 8:13 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 11:59:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A group rallied outside of the Poway Unified School District headquarters during a board meeting Thursday over new courses that will be offered to students in the fall.

A group of parents and community members held signs that read “No Critical Race Theory.” They say they’re concerned about the district’s Racial Equity & Inclusion plan.

ABC 10News heard from most of the group who said they did not have children in the district but were supporters from across the county opposing the plan.

In a press release, a Poway Unified parent who did not want to be identified publicly wrote that the district is implementing Critical Race Theory and that “the goal is to make kids feel guilty for the color of their skin and to ultimately become political activists and support this political agenda.”

Advocates call Critical Race Theory an academic approach to understanding how American racism in the past still impacts of society and institutions now. But critics say it is divisive, oppressive, and harmful.

“People right now are hesitant to speak out because of the environment,” said Frank Xu; he’s not a parent in the district but was referred to ABC 10News by another parents who wished to stay anonymous. “They’re going to divide our students.” Xu believes that the two courses are not suitable for students and other approaches should be considered by the district.

Last year, the district board passed an anti-racism resolution and the Racial Equity & Inclusion plan.

District Chief of Communications, Christine Paik, said the district’s plan would offer high school students two optional courses, Ethnic Studies and Ethnic Literature.

“We want to make it clear that Poway Unified School District is not teaching Critical Race Theory. What we are doing is working very closely with students, staff, and community to make sure all of our students in our classroom feel valued for who they are,” Paik explained.

Paik said the district is still seeking feedback from parents and students.