Georgia school district's promotion of CRT, officials' comments on White people prompt investigation request

Winsome Sears on CRT: Left using ‘semantics,’ ‘our children are not learning’

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears blasts critical race theory.

A state senator in Georgia is requesting an investigation into a county school official amid controversy surrounding her comments about White people and the district’s indication that one of its classes utilized critical race theory (CRT).

Sent Monday, Republican Sen. Burt Jones’ letter comes after video showed Dr. Tarece Johnson, the recently elected chair of Gwinnett County Board of Education, calling for an end to “anti-Black capitalism” and describing White people as “socialized racists.”

Heritage Action, a conservative think tank, also obtained an audit syllabus promoting CRT for an AP Language and AP Research combination class within Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS). It reads: “Students will bridge the skills from AP Language to AP Research, analyzing the value of using different lenses in social criticism (Critical Race Theory, Feminist, Marxist, Psychoanalytic) to aid their analysis across issues, and the class will discuss how these perspectives apply to the different methods used by research fields.” 

GCPS told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that the syllabus was “written by one teacher who submitted it to College Board in 2017 as a means of providing evidence that the teacher understood the scope of the course. It was not the syllabus actually used for the class.” 

Gwinnett County Public Schools Board of Education Chair Dr. Tarece Johnson.

Jones’ letter highlighted the audit syllabus and other statements. Addressed to Georgia Board of Education Chair Jason Downey, the letter declared: “[O]ur education system needs welcoming role models who can provide guidance and assurance to students of all backgrounds, and Dr. Johnson’s actions severely undermine that mission and further divide our students and schools at a time when we need to united and come together.”

Jones, who’s also running for lieutenant governor, added: “For this reason, I am asking the Georgia Board of Education to launch a full investigation into Dr. Johnson’s statements, implemented policies, and administrative actions – and whether they violate any of the code of conduct policies or other statutes on a county or statewide level.”

Georgia Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Burt Jones speaks at a rally as former President Trump watches on Sept. 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia.
(Sean Rayford)

Johnson’s book, “The Global Purpose Approach: A Multicultural Resource,” reportedly describes CRT as part of multicultural learning. However, GCPS’ statement indicates the syllabus wasn’t altered by Johnson and came years prior to her joining the school board in 2021.

“Implicit in effective multicultural learning, especially with consideration of racial diversity and equity in education, is critical race theory,” it reads.

It adds that “critical race approaches provide opportunities for the critical analysis of racism and various forms of oppression. This type of learning is particularly important for helping to empower individuals of various races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels in our diverse classrooms, and to promote deeper levels of historical and cultural understanding and intolerance by socially dominant groups in order to educate generations who will possess the cultural sensitivity and drive to prevent ongoing social oppression.”

An even mix of proponents and opponents to teaching critical race theory are in attendance as the Placentia Yorba Linda School Board in Orange County, California, discusses a proposed resolution to ban it from being taught in schools.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

GCPS director of communications and media relations Sloan Roach told Fox News Digital that “our Board members are intent on following all policies and statutes, as well as the norms they have established as a Board.”

Roach added that CRT was not taught in GCPS and “[t]his is just another example of cultural wars and political battles being waged at the expense of our schools and the critical thinking and the standards-based learning that takes place in our classrooms on a daily basis; this is not about our schools and what we are teaching in Gwinnett County.”

“Some are uncomfortable with recent changes in leadership. The irony is that this syllabus was written five years ago, before recent changes on the governance team.”

Johnson did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. Downey declined to comment. 

The Georgia Department of Education said it couldn’t speak for the state board of education but committed to countering CRT.

“State School Superintendent Richard Woods has stated repeatedly that Critical Race Theory and other divisive teachings have no place in Georgia’s public schools, and condemns any attempt to promote or push these ideologies,” a department statement read.

“Superintendent Woods is working closely with Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly to ensure legislation passes this session that protects against divisive teachings and ideologies and establishes a process to properly review and directly address issues like the one identified in Gwinnett County.”

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