Parents Petition RCSD Board

0:00 Parents Petition School Board to End Use of Critical Race Theory on Task Force   BY PETER JOVANOVICH     In a petition delivered […]

Published February 24, 2021 10:32 PM
2 min read

0:00

Parents Petition School Board to End Use

of Critical Race Theory on Task Force

 

BY PETER JOVANOVICH

 

 

In a petition delivered to the Rye City School District Board of Education this week, a group of Rye parents asked that the School Board end all involvement of the NYU/Steinhardt with the Race, Inclusivity and Community Task Force. The Steinhardt Center, hired by the District last fall to guide the Task Force, in the words of the petition, “espouses Critical Race Theory that is widely criticized for its propagation of racial division.”

 

The petitioners cite a recent letter from the Dean of the Center, which states: “We not only affirm anti-racist education, critical race theory, and all of their antecedents, we also call for more initiatives and reflective spaces . . .  such initiatives have long given us a sense of how to settle our debts we owe for our overdue national sins.”

 

In a cover letter to the petition, signed by Bozidar Jovanovic on behalf of Concerned Parents of Rye, he writes: “We agree that racism and lack of inclusivity have no place in the Rye City School District. This is precisely the reason why a polarizing organization such as Steinhardt has no place in our community.” Jovanovic (no relation to this reporter) continues, “The District has not established a factual predicate that justified the involvement of an outside consultant, much less one that maintains ‘white people have internalized messages, attitudes, and beliefs about white supremacy . . . and often act to perpetuate racial hierarchies in schools.’”

 

The School District, in response to the paper’s inquiry about the petition, replied: “The assertions laid out in the letter have been sent to the Board of Education by the original petitioner several times, and the Board has responded each time that the statements about the work of the task force are false and inaccurate.”

 

The District stated it will hold a public presentation at an upcoming Board meeting to “provide the community with a factual update about the work the Race, Inclusivity and Community Task Force is undertaking. We hope that the community will attend and ask questions that evening.”

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