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Missouri Attorney General Sues Springfield School District Over Refusal To Turn Over Critical Race Training Records

Missouri Attorney General Sues Springfield School District Over Refusal To Turn Over Critical Race Training Records

Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed suit against Springfield Public Schools for violating the state’s sunshine laws, saying SPS failed to provide documents his office requested after parents complained of lessons and curriculum based on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

On November 16, 2021, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed suit against Springfield Public Schools for violating the state’s sunshine laws. Schmitt says Springfield failed to provide documents his office requested after parents complained of lessons and curriculum based on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

In a press release announcing the action, the AG’s office said, in part:

Upon questioning by the Attorney General’s Office, Springfield Public Schools admitted that they’ve provided equity training to students in the GO CAPS program for the past three school years. In May of 2021, Springfield Public Schools reported that it had formed a “Culturally Relevant Curriculum Review” and adopted a Culturally Responsible Scorecard to implement a social justice evaluation of core curriculum, including math.

After the Springfield Public Schools School Board limited public comments and Springfield Public Schools announced that they would not release training materials to the public, the Attorney General’s Office filed a Sunshine Law request on behalf of concerned parents to find out exactly how frequently critical race theory and antiracism materials and teachings were supplied or taught to students.

In response, Springfield Public Schools provided a fee estimate that demanded an initial deposit of $37,000. The lawsuit alleges, “Springfield Public Schools violated § 610.026.2 [the Sunshine Law] by demanding a deposit for items or services other than copies as a precondition to making public records available to the Attorney General’s Office.”

Schmitt also put together a lengthy thread on twitter sharing details his office had learned about the teacher trainings.

This despite denials from state officials that CRT is being taught in Missouri schools. As noted at criticalrace.org/states/missouri:

Missouri officials, all the way up to Republican Governor Mike Parson, insist CRT is not being taught in K-12 schools, while also proudly proclaiming their support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the schools. (source: https://themissouritimes.com/parson-missouri-schools-teach-diversity-not-critical-race-theory/) They claim these concepts are unrelated, but several organizations in Missouri have called them out as they continue to dodge the issue. Meanwhile, the Attorney General for Missouri has joined with 20 other state attorneys general in a letter to the US Department of Education urging it to reject CRT standards when awarding grants. (source: https://ago.mo.gov/home/news/2021/05/20/missouri-attorney-general-joins-20-state-coalition-urging-department-of-education-to-reject-critical-race-theory-in-nation-s-school-curriculum)

K-12 Education

The Show Me Institute has uncovered many instances of CRT in school districts across Missouri. (https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/transparency/yes-mr-pratt-critical-race-theory-is-being-taught-and-trained-in-missouri-k-12/) They have done so via public records requests at the district level. There is nothing mandated by the Missouri Department of K-12 and Secondary Education. Bills banning the teaching of CRT and the 1619 Project failed to advance in the 2021 legislative session.

The issue of CRT in public schools has caused a firestorm of controversy in Missouri. In response to the lawsuit, the SPS spokesperson released a statement:

Springfield Public Schools spokesperson Stephen Hall said the district “has been in ongoing communication with the AG’s office about his records requests.”

“SPS is disappointed by the Attorney General’s decision to use the power of his office to attack public education,” he said in a statement. “This is an attempt to intimidate SPS, and while it will not prevail, it will unfortunately require considerable taxpayer resources to defend.

“These efforts represent a loud, divisive, and misguided distraction,” he added. “SPS has been very clear: critical race theory is not being taught in our classrooms. Our work is focused on equity, not CRT. SPS is being intentional in the educational experiences we provide all of our students. Ensuring our district is equitable and inclusive is our ethical responsibility to make SPS safe for all students and staff. Any deliberate attempt to misrepresent this important work, especially for political purposes, is shameful indeed.”

According to the Springfield News-Leader, most school districts have denied incorporating CRT into their curriculum. Only one school district, Kansas City, responded in the positive to a survey about CRT in public schools, although two districts denied it while admitting the 1619 Project was being taught. Springfield has repeatedly insisted they don’t use CRT, even in the face of examples provided by Schmitt in the AG’s lawsuit.

One may note at this point that CRT does not actually appear in the curriculum or any lesson plans in SPS, and such an observation would seem accurate. However, the examples cited by Schmitt in the lawsuit indicate the lens through which the district expects teachers and administrators to craft their lesson plans, so the effect ends up the same. One should also remember that SPS has withheld a significant amount of documents requested by the AG’s office, so there is still a less than complete picture of what’s happening in those schools.

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Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds, and on Gab at @RealJeffReynolds.

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Comments

So their excuse is that they are just teaching “Equity”? “Equity” (not “equality”) is from the same marxist CRT handbook.

For these laws ro have any effect they MUST have consequential penalties for failing to adhere to them. I’d live to see those who refuse to uphold these laws being frog marched out of their front doors at 3am!

    fscarn in reply to mailman. | November 17, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    The legal doctrine of qualified immunity will shield that from ever happening. If you want people to be accountable, abolish qualified immunity.

    And doing that is one heavy lift.

      mailman in reply to fscarn. | November 18, 2021 at 3:00 am

      Did you break the law by failing to follow your legal requirements and instead hod data from those who pay your wages?

      Yes.

      (3am, sounds of police entering through broken doors) THIS IS THE POLICE!!

      Fuck them all! 🤬🤬 Treat them EXACTLY as they treated Roger Stone!

      Mike R in reply to fscarn. | November 18, 2021 at 11:28 am

      The Missouri law provides for individual public officials to be fined for knowing violations, 5X higher fines for purposeful violations. And any actions taken by the governmental body while violating the law can be voided.

Who should we believe nice school administrators or our lying eyes?

No, no, we don’t teach CRT!
(Waves hand): These are not the documents you’re looking for…

I hope that the AG in Missouri is successful in his attempt to rid the public schools of the Marxist propaganda called CRT

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Steven Brizel. | November 17, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    They will also need to rid the school district of all people who championed CRT, and ban them from the teaching profession. We need a modern day McCarthy.

Remember: schools indeed do not teach CRT, they APPLY CRT to the subject matter at hand. That’s the whole point of CRT, to use it in daily instruction of students.

    Ben Kent in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 17, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    SNEAKY

    Semantics and hair-spliting. I have never seen people try so hard to obscure issues with the agenda they want to push – except those who are ideologically brainwashed with an agenda.

    Many of these administrators and teachers have “drank the Kool-aide.” How can we EVER trust them with our kids ? ? How do they become de-programmed so that they are no longer agenda-driven ideologues ? I don’t know.

    This is a MAJOR PROBLEM that no one is talking about. The school staff are already infected with this hateful ideology. I don’t think you can easily un-ring that bell.

    So, what is the plan ? You cannot just say “don’t teach it” and trust that they will not. There are school staff that pray to the god of DEI. So much so that there are many cases around the USA where teachers, administrators and school board members have lied to parents or concealed information from parents. How can we EVER trust people who believe in their agenda so much that they are willing to lie and to defy court orders and supeonas ?

    Are we going to fire school staff for insubordination ? Are we going to try to undo the brain-washing ? WHAT IS THE PLAN ?

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Ben Kent. | November 17, 2021 at 8:07 pm

      All those promoting this need to be expelled, and then there is going to be a shortage of teachers. That problem can be addressed by tearing apart existing teacher qualification standards. America started without all their crap. This started with high jacking our teacher education system. We need to lay waste to the existing system.

So Springfield claims they don’t teach or by implication use the tenants underlying CRT/Equity within either their curriculum or district training. Ok how about let the taxpayers see the curriculum and the district training? We are well past the stage of ‘trust us’.

what is that old saying, ‘if you not doing anything wrong what are you trying to hide’

CRT is an admission, in part, that black people cannot compete as a minority in our society solely because of skin color. Thus white people must be made to feel they are oppressors solely because of their skin color. White people must also agree that black criminals are incarcerated because of their skin color not because they committed a crime. This problem is due, in part, because of Supreme Court decisions allowing affirmative action discrimination even though the need for this ended long ago. Almost in all cases blacks killed by police are due to not following reasonable police requests. Sad.

This is the purpose of electing Republicans to office and I am glad MO has an AG who is doing his job.

“Ensuring our district is equitable and inclusive is our ethical responsibility”

In other words, CRT is being jammed down kids throats. Word games don’t change what it is

Many years ago, the SJW cabal started to burp up ‘dog whistle’ marxist phrases like ‘social justice,’ ‘economic justice,’ ‘racial justice,’ etc. I quickly noted that there’s no dog whistle about it. Any time ‘justice’ is modified by an adjective, it always (read: ALWAYS) means “Hate Whitey, and get revenge.”

In the ensuing years, all that’s changed is “Hate Whitey, and get revenge” has a new suit of academic clothes, complete with a CRT, or DEI lapel pin, and codified into a curriculum. And it’s all paid for with our tax dollars in our classrooms to brainwash our children.

The marxists have a problem with “education funding from property tax.” So do I. DEFUND the SCHOOLS. Fund the student. School choice is a civil right.

Do not be on the wrong side of history.

Face it; the jig is up. Parents are going to hold school officials responsible. There is no good reason why any public school should withhold information about what they do from parents. They pay the bills.

Hollymon, I think you, just about all the other commenters here, and sadly the LI staff, are suffering from some misconceptions.

“Parents are going to hold school officials responsible.”

Which parents? The ones who are against their children being indoctrinated with CRT, or the ones who are for it? In the “One Best System” of government schools, you get to vote, but you don’t necessarily get to win.

“There is no good reason why any public school should withhold information about what they do from parents.”

The government schools do not need a “good reason”. They get to do whatever the law allows them to do.

“They pay the bills.”

I also pay state and federal taxes. How much effect do I have on what the state and federal governments do?

Parents should try holding themselves accountable for sending their children to government run schools.

Get the kids out now.

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