Critical Race Theory: ‘Complex’ topic not being taught in many area school districts

Stock photo of a classroom.

DAYTON — Divisive and controversial are two of the words included in proposed Ohio legislation that would ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools.

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While these bills to ban the topic remain in the Ohio House and have a long way to go before a possible outcome, News Center 7 found most area school districts are not currently teaching the subject.

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Mohammed Al Hamdani, the President of the Dayton School Board said part of the exclusion of the theory in classrooms has to do with the complexity of the subject. Al Hamdani, who is lawyer, said the theory is typically taught on the law school level, and the type of curriculum is difficult to teach children.

“Majority of schools in the country do not teach critical race theory to children, it’s just too complex,” Al Hamdani told News Center 7′s Candace Price.

“An example would be how we punish drug groups. Drugs used by predominately minorities over punished, drugs used by predominantly white folks were not punished,” he said.

“For us right now, CRT too complex. If there is a way to teach it I don’t think our district will be for or against it, we’d have to bring it up to the whole board and have that discussion,” Al Hamdani said.

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Dayton Public Schools were among several area districts that said teaching of the theory was not included in the curriculum. A Centerville schools spokesperson said their district follows the Ohio Learning Standards which does not currently include CRT.

A Springboro schools spokesperson also said the district will not include teaching of the controversial topic as well.

“It is not an attempt to tell teachers how to frame their discussions. Organic, classroom discussions can often occur, and are encouraged with any given topic,” the spokesperson said in a statement to News Center 7.

Lekesia Defurr, a parent with four children in Dayton Public Schools, said children are too young to grasp the theory. But added topics like systemic racism should be taught by parents and not the school districts.

“I don’t think that they’re old enough to really know that just yet. All cards are not dealt the same. So if there’s ever an issue, you get in trouble and end up in the system, there’s going to be a different outcome for you. And that’s for a parent to teach their kids, not the school,” Defurr said.

“Me personally, I had to understand that when I got grown. I didn’t even understand that when I was their age. I had to grow up and be like, well is it because of my skin color,” Defurr said.

Ahead of the outcome of the proposed legislation, the discussion will continue across the area and state about if it should it be included in schools, if the state should decide, and what age is appropriate to introduce the concept.