During a May 20 Cherokee County school board meeting, the announcement that critical race theory curriculum would be banned in local schools was greeted with exuberant cheers from parents.
Superintendent Dr. Brian V. Hightower said that "neither I, nor your school board have any plans to implement critical race theory or the 1619 Project. We have no plans to implement any of their concepts or race-based teaching under that name or any other name.
"We're not playing semantics, we're being truthful. And while I had initially entertained and publicly spoken to the development of a stand-alone diversity, equity, and inclusivity, DEI plan, I recognize that our intentions have become widely misunderstood within the community and have created division.
"To that end," he said, "I've concluded that there will be no separate DEI plan." This was met with loud applause and cheers from the assembled parents, who gave a standing ovation.
Hightower mentioned a letter that he had sent to parents about critical race theory in schools, which read:
"A rumor has circulated in parts of our community, despite our repeated communications to the few spreading the rumor that they are misinformed. We are not going to implement 'Critical Race Theory,' also called CRT, in our schools – not under that name nor by any other name, nor we will be using The 1619 Project in our schools. Our School Board and I feel so strongly that we need to correct this misinformation that they plan to consider a resolution at their next meeting to prohibit teaching CRT and The 1619 Project in our schools.
"These rumors appear to be fueled by a national conversation about CRT. Unfortunately, this discussion has led to the use of terms such as diversity, equity and inclusion becoming synonymous with CRT. We had previously used these terms to frame our commitment to provide an excellent education for all students. Our use of those terms helped to address not only differences in race, but also different learning abilities, cultural backgrounds, language proficiency and levels of support for learning at home, as we are dedicated to serving all students."
Before the Cherokee County School Board took a vote on whether or not to ban critical race theory in local schools, parents took to the podium to express their concerns. Parents weighed in on both sides of the issue, with a mom who offered a more nuanced perspective booed by the assembled parents.
Some in leftist media have said that banning critical race theory is akin to banning the teaching of the history of slavery, but this is not an accurate assessment.