One of the nation’s largest teachers unions vowed Tuesday to go to court to allow the teaching of critical race theory.
Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, said in a speech that she considers teaching critical race theory to be teaching “the truth.”
“Mark my words. Our union will defend any member who gets in trouble for teaching honest history. We have a legal defense fund ready to go. Teaching the truth is not radical or wrong. Distorting history and threatening educators for teaching the truth is what is truly radical and wrong,” Ms. Weingarten said at the union’s virtual professional development conference.
“Culture warriors are labeling any discussion of race, racism or discrimination as critical race theory, to try to make it toxic. They are bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching students accurate history. This harms students. These culture warriors want to deprive students of a robust understanding of our common history. This will put students at a disadvantage in life by knocking a big hole in their understanding of this country and the world,” she said.
The theory, created by leftist legal academics, argues that laws and policies from the past continue to discriminate against Black people and other people of color.
Critics say it is racially divisive and presents an inaccurate view of the U.S. as a racist nation.
At least six states, including Texas, have barred teaching it.
The spreading of the theory in recent years ignited a searing debate. Conservatives condemned the Biden administration for backing the theory — including the idea that Whites are privileged due to their race. Most notably, the administration has proposed giving school districts federal grants to incorporate in K-12 curriculum. Critics like Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, also condemned its teaching in the military, saying it will create tensions between soldiers.
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