EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Critical Race Theory debate goes to Granite School Board meeting

Jul 7, 2021, 8:15 AM | Updated: 9:15 am

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — Protestors and advocates showed up to the Granite School Board meeting Tuesday night to make their voices heard about Critical Race Theory.

Representatives from Black Lives Matter planned to advocate for the agenda to be taught in schools, while groups on the other side were there to ask that it not be taught.

They used the public comment portion of the meeting.

In a live interview with Utah’s Morning News on KSL NewsRadio, spokesman Ben Horsley pointed out that Critical Race Theory was not even on the agenda for the meeting. 

“It appears two rival groups, an anti-CRT group and Black Lives Matter started, I don’t know any other way to call it, but an arms race, of who was going to get more people out to our meeting, with the apparent notion that we were going to be discussing this, and it was not anywhere to be found on our agenda,” Horsley said. 

According to Horsley, members of the school board went over the rules for public comment to ensure a civil discussion.

“We took a lot of time, several minutes actually, to review public meeting decorum and remind people that were there to be kind and respectful despite different opinions, and by the way, we are a school district so we are going to be modeling appropriate behavior and conduct for the children that we serve, and by and large our patrons and those who participated in the meeting did a good job of doing so,” he said.

But by the time the official meeting business concluded and public comment began, Horsley said both sides spoke up. 

“We went through our entire agenda, we got to our public comment, those comments were heard, and the meeting ended,” Horsley said. “No decisions, it was completely unrelated to our meeting, but we do offer a public comment component of our meeting, and it was used for this purpose.”

No Utah public school currently teaches Critical Race Theory, which scholars study at the college and graduate level. Additionally, Critical Race Theory is banned by the state legislature and the state board of education.

But according to Education Week, the two largest teachers unions in the nation said this week they plan to teach it anyway, despite any local laws.

Granite School District Spokesman Ben Horsley joined Utah’s Morning News at 8:15 with more. 

This isn’t the first time a Granite School Board meeting has been the center of protests or heated discussion. This week, 11 people were charged for disrupting a board meeting in early May about statewide mask mandates in school. Those charges became national news. 

This story will be updated.

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Critical Race Theory debate goes to Granite School Board meeting