The Utah Pride Center adds its voice to the many other Utah Organizations, Educators, Parents and Communities who are concerned and disappointed by the resolution approved by the Utah House and Senate regarding “Critical Race Theory”.
This is a resolution born out of fear and a lack of understanding about issues of race, racism, and identity. The resolution shows a blatant disregard for students, teachers, and families in schools who have been made to feel invisible, marginalized, and whose identities and life experiences are now not able to be represented or included in the classroom or curriculum.
Schools and pedagogy should promote and enable the opportunity to envision a worldview that includes different perspectives and possibilities for all identities. We believe that it is important for leaders and school stakeholders to consider those spaces in which individuals of color, queer individuals, immigrant youth, and other marginalized identities are being denied the ability to be their authentic selves or to participate fully. Parents, students, educators and communities should welcome the opportunity to be part of bringing understanding and positive change to their classrooms, and not fear it or silence it.
Ultimately, the discussion of ‘Critical Race Theory’ is a smokescreen for confronting the important and actual issues of equity, belonging and inclusion. Any initiatives that encourage and promote discussions and thinking about kindness, compassion, empathy and understanding for the other, are to be celebrated and should be the very essence of schools and education. Our school districts need to understand, study and be aware of spaces where discrimination and oppression have happened, and continue to happen, and to work to change them. They cannot do so when our legislators and school boards are operating from a position of fear.
The Utah Pride Center makes this statement in solidarity with the educators, administrators, families, students in our schools who are calling for a school system which sees, recognizes, and includes all in their care. We are calling on our legislators to do better, and to recognize their role in being representatives for all in their community.
Rob Moolman, PhD
Amanda Darrow, M.Ed
Director of Youth, Family and Education