SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Dozens of people joined together outside the Kraft Administration Building in Springfield protesting Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools.
Springfield Public Schools said they don’t have plans to add CRT in the school curriculum or teacher training. However, protesters said they have proof that states otherwise.
Doctor Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, an assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University, Does not consider himself a critical race theorist but has studied the theory.
“A critical race theorist will point out the fact that at its founding, the United States was based on policies and laws that made people of color less human,” said Sherman-Wilkins.
The assistant professor gives an example using Christopher Columbus.
“And what a critical race theorist acknowledges is that those laws and policies, though they happened in the past, they’re not ancient history and those legacies are still impacting people today,” said Sherman-Wilkins. “People for example, they can name the ship that Christopher Columbus sailed in on, but they can’t tell you the names of the tribes of the indigenous people that were wiped out.”
Individuals at the protest believe CRT is rewriting American history and shames white students for actions in the past.
“What it does is it puts people in groups of people, on their skin color, and it gives them characteristics based on their skin color,” said David Nokes, a retired Springfield Police officer.
Calvin Morrow, with Christians Uniting for Action, said there is documentation to prove the district is not being transparent.
“We have lots of documentation that they’re doing it,” said Morrow. “They say they’re not, but they’re doing it. when you look at what is mandatory reading, they’re doing that. And it is in there.”
Morrow also believes CRT is teaching hatred.
“They’re teaching kids to hate one another, to hate your country, and to hate policemen,” said Morrow.
Stephen Hall, with Springfield Public Schools, responded to the claims:
“I believe that that is a word that is being used as an umbrella term all across the country right now, to apply to anything related to equity and diversity work,” said Hall. “And I think there’s a great deal of misunderstanding regarding what that is. But what I can assure you, is it has nothing to do with the training that we are talking about, which is for staff only. This is not curriculum designed for students.”
Watch the full interviews with the people involved in this story below: