A conservative activist organization, led by alumni of the Trump administration, has created a handbook for parents on how to take control of their school boards and ban critical race theory.
Citizens for Renewing America, the activist arm of the Center for Renewing America, on Tuesday published a toolkit titled, “Combatting Critical Race Theory In Your Community.” The 33-page document is described as the “A-to-Z guide on how to stop Critical Race Theory,” teaching parents what their children are being taught in school and how to organize to challenge local school boards.
In recent weeks, viral videos have shown angry parents confronting school boards to oppose the teaching of critical race theory, which is a framework for studying American history that claims most laws and systems in the United States were rooted in the racist oppression of black people and other marginalized groups.
Citizens for Renewing America argues that when students are taught CRT, they’re taught that traditional American society and its values are inherently racist, that all white people benefit from the historic oppression of other identity groups, that identity group perspectives are more important than the individual’s perspective, and that “anti-racism” requires the deconstruction of allegedly racist institutions in order to promote equity.
The group’s toolkit aims to help parents understand why this ideology is harmful, equip them to easily explain it to others, and empower them to hold school boards accountable and to fight for change. The document walks parents through answering common accusations from CRT supporters like “you don’t understand it” or “you’re banning teachers from teaching history,” explaining how they can answer these charges, defend their position, and win the argument.
“Combatting Critical Race Theory is where the cultural fight is, and at the Center for Renewing America we are helping to pick the fight, execute and win it,” said Russ Vought, president of the Center for Renewing America and former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Trump. “Winning the debate happens by educating at a national level, and as that national debate unfolds, you will have an outpouring of legislative activity at the county, school board, the state legislature level and who knows, we may have a leverage point to get something done at the federal level.”
Vought was the architect of the Trump administration’s policy banning critical race theory in federal agencies.
The guide also gives parents tips on how to start and grow a network of activists in their communities to challenge local school boards, even how to recruit candidates to run in school board elections.
Citizens for Renewing America has also produced comprehensive model legislation school boards can adopt to ensure that components of critical race theory are banned from the curriculum while teachers are still able to freely teach American history without neglecting historic injustices and the ongoing effort to overcome them in this country.
“Our role is to be a resource to parents, to be a resource to state legislatures, to help them understand the theory, to understand the buzzwords,” Vought said.