A Missouri public school district shelled out $15,000 on curriculum development inspired by Critical Race Theory, the ideology that advances the idea that America is irredeemably rooted in racism.
Francis Howell School District in St. Charles County, Missouri, hired Dr. LaGarrett King in September 2020 for his “professional development and consultation services.” King is an associate professor of social education at the University of Missouri and the director of the university’s Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education.
According to a contract obtained by a concerned parents group, King was paid $15,000 for a slew of online and in-person consulting services and curriculum developments. He was specifically tasked with assisting a team of high school teachers to create an African American history course.
“Dr. King will provide training, professional development, curriculum audit, and support to our leadership team as we develop and design this course during the 2020-21 school year,” the contract reads.
The African American history course will be an elective course offered to 10-12 grade students each semester.
Other tasks in King’s job description include developing student and community surveys to get feedback for course development, as well as conducting a curriculum audit of all history courses. King must host an “informational meeting” and a Q&A session with parents regarding his new curriculum.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, as part of his contract, King conducted a virtual seminar for teachers called “Black Historical Consciousness.” During the development session, he said that history education is “psychologically violent” to black students.
“History is psychologically violent no matter how we try to make it palatable. The problem is that the psychological violence has been one-sided,” the professor said.
King also encouraged high school educators to explain history through a “social justice lens,” regardless of parents’ concerns. He also suggested that the district edit the verbiage of its lessons so they “can still get things accomplished in a critical fashion.”
“There’s no such thing as a neutral history,” King said. “It is political and it is not objective.”
During a school board meeting, Francis Howell School District’s superintendent, Dr. Nathan Hoven, said that students are not being taught Critical Race Theory in the classroom. He argued that King’s changes are “entirely positive efforts” that are being “misportrayed.”
According to the Free Beacon, the history curriculum being taught will work toward an “equitable democracy.” While it does not specifically say the words “Critical Race Theory,” the teachings mirror each other in many ways.
King has retweeted content expressing that he believes Critical Race Theory should be taught in K-12 schools as well.
Students at Francis Howell School District will also be taught lessons on the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black Panthers to get students to “recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup, and institutional levels and consider how they have been affected by those dynamics.”
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