Richland school board enacts new policy on race in U.S. history lessons

The Richland School Board in Washington state, which governs the 583rd largest school district in the country with 14,221 students, voted 4-1 on October 25, 2022, to adopt Policy 2360, which specifies how teachers can discuss race in U.S. history lessons. It is one of several recent responses to trends in curriculum development tracked on Ballotpedia.

Titled “Race, Culture, and the Curriculum”, Policy 2360 prohibits curriculum that causes students to become, in its view, “indoctrinated in the belief that the U.S. is fundamentally or systemically racist”, according to the policy guidelines. It also bars teachings that give preferential or disparaging treatment to any student. 

Krista Calvin, educator and president of the Richland Education Association, argued against the policy by saying, “The problem that I have specifically with this policy, as a teacher of 25 years in the state of Washington, is that I feel it paints all teachers with a very broad brush and furthers a nationwide agenda that’s really aiming more to villainize teachers rather than to lift them up as they try to do the important work they’re doing with students.” 

Richland School Board member and policy proponent Semi Bird, who requested the board vote on Policy 2360, argued in a candidate promotional video posted on Youtube last summer, “CRT is a Marxist and anti-American proposition that will poison our society and the minds of our children. We must not allow this divisive curriculum to enter our school system.”

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