Opinion — No one objects to the teaching of American history

Published 8:11 am Friday, July 30, 2021

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As the debate over Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools becomes more widespread and more defined, supporters of the practice have begun to change their tactics. Rather than deny that CRT is being taught, they falsely accuse opponents of seeking to censor the teaching of history.

Supporters of Critical Race Theory have begun to argue that their opponents seek to censor the teaching of U.S. history. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our schools should teach all of American history, the good, the bad, and the ugly. That includes the fact that slavery was an evil enterprise, Virginia’s shameful Jim Crow laws, the struggle for civil rights, redlining, and more. Our children deserve to know the entire history of the U.S. at an age-appropriate level. But they also need to know that the U.S. has been and is still a beacon of freedom and hope for the world.

We should teach America’s sins, but also her redemption: by blood in the Civil War, by the struggle for civil rights, and by the undeniable progress we have made toward our shared ideals. But what they don’t need is to be saddled with blame for the problems in our society, past or present. Nor do they deserve to be told that they are hobbled by these problems.
Today’s students didn’t implement slavery or segregation. Parents object to Critical Race Theory, critical pedagogy, diversity, equity, and inclusion training, and “antiracism” teaching because it does just that — it saddles students with the baggage of the past.

Teaching students that things such as punctuality, professionalism, individualism, politeness, personal responsibility, and other core values that lead to success are “white culture” sets them up for failure. Such teaching also waters down the meaning of “white supremacy” to be all but meaningless, and it cheapens the suffering of those who have fought against that pernicious ideology.

Teaching students to see race in everything and as everything moves us away from the ideal of the United States — out of many, one.
“Antiracist” teaching from Ibram Kendi and others like him hold that there is no middle ground: one is either an activist or a bigot. Anyone who simply wants to go about their lives, treat others as they wish to be treated, and see people as individuals is no longer a positive actor — they’re racists, and part of the problem.


New School Mask Recommendations

The guidelines from Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration were accompanied by a large volume of text, but are simple. Everyone in elementary schools, including vaccinated staff, should wear a mask indoors. For children over the age of 12 in middle and high schools, only the unvaccinated should wear a mask. The recommendation for masking in elementary schools continues until children under 12 can be vaccinated. Middle and high school staff need only wear masks if they are not vaccinated. The guidelines are presented as voluntary, with the local school district making the decision on whether or not to implement them.
This is yet another COVID messaging fiasco from the governor’s office. If vaccines work — which they do — why are vaccinated staff in elementary schools required to wear masks? Studies also show that children rarely contract COVID, and if they do, the disease is almost always incredibly mild. Children rarely pass the disease to adults, and adults around children can be vaccinated. Forcing small children to wear masks is not right, and there’s no good scientific reason for it. There is however, a solid political reason, in the form of appeasing the teachers’ unions who are already angry at the prospect of having to return to in-person schooling. This is theater, pure and simple. Adults who do not want to be at risk can be vaccinated. Children aren’t at serious risk from COVID. There’s no reason to make them wear masks. House Republicans will work to ensure that no child is required to wear a mask in school in defiance of science and common sense.

I appreciate those who contact my office and hope you will continue to reach out when we can be of assistance.  The best way to contact me is via email at DelTWright@house.virginia.gov or by calling 434.696.3061.  You can also send mail to PO Box 1323, Victoria, Virginia 23974.