Image: Conroe Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Tamika Taylor in a video message she sent to Conroe ISD teachers, discussing how to teach “critical race theory” despite the passage of House Bill 3979 into Texas law, which prohibits such teaching.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, August 18 – Despite protestations from the school district that it doesn’t teach “critical race theory,” a July, 2021, video message from Conroe Independent School District (CISD) Assistant Superintendent Tamika Taylor, which she sent to teachers across the CISD, reveals that the school district has begun careful plans how to skirt the new Texas law prohibiting such teaching. House Bill 3979, which State Representative Steve Toth authored, prohibits the teaching of the racist theory in social studies courses in Texas public schools.
CISD is the 12th largest school district in Texas and has consistently claimed that it does not condone nor teach “critical race theory.”
The Taylor video makes clear that CISD has committed to teaching “critical race theory” but trying to do so in a manner which would not draw out criticism from what the school district views as the “opposition,” apparently anti-racist, pro-American adherents. The video also makes clear that CISD’s General Counsel, Carrie Galatas, views her role as trying to assist in the teaching of “critical race theory” in any way which will not cause a CISD teacher to get caught.
Taylor’s video came to light in response to a broad Texas Public Information Act request, which conservative activist and recent Woodlands High School graduate Konner Earnest sent to CISD.
In the video, Taylor said, “There’s a lot of tension in the air about ‘critical race theory’ and the perceptions that were brought out at the board meeting about social emotion learning. I want you…to have a united front in answering those questions about that House bill.” Taylor explained that CISD’s leadership conference would deal with “culturally responsive teaching,” “diversity inclusion and equity,” and “a part on equitable learning.”
Taylor continued, “For situations like that, Carrie [Galatas, CISD’s General Counsel] advised that, as long as the presenters are not using the buzzwords that have been in the media, they will be fine.” Taylor suggested, “They might want to start their sessions out” by disclaiming that they are discussing personal opinions or beliefs.
Taylor said that Galatas, the CISD General Counsel, said “It does not matter what we do or say. It will not stop the opposition that’s out there. We cannot be afraid for situations like that, but obviously we have to be very careful.” Taylor admitted that Galatas had not yet read House Bill 3979 yet.
Russell’s criticism at school board meeting
On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, at 6:30 p.m., renowned education expert Ginger Russell, who is also a conservative Republican political leader, spoke to the CISD Board of Trustees and confronted them with the Taylor video.
Russell told the Board:
“This board has stated repeatedly that your district is not teaching CRT, but you just heard one of your Conroe ISD administrators direct staff on how to continue teaching CRT despite Texas law.
“She mentioned ‘Culturally Responsive Teaching,’ which is another word for CRT. She mentioned ‘Diversity, Inclusion and Social Emotional Learning.’ All this is Marxism which it is being implemented in every subject.
“Students are no longer given a classical traditional education giving them equal opportunity to succeed. The education system today is molded around progressive ideals in order to socially engineer the next generation changing a student’s values, attitudes, belief and behavior.
“Sadly, this district like all districts is no longer an ‘independent school district’ with local control. You have turned over the education of our children to State and Federal Bureaucracies for the almighty dollar accepting grant funding with progressive mandates.”
What is “critical race theory”?
As Africana and Black Male Studies Professor at the University of Edinburgh Tommy Curry explains it, “critical race theory” means “the doctrine that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color.”
One of the primary living proponents of “critical race theory” is Ibram X. Kendi, the Director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Kendi has written several books, but among his most prominent is Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. The thesis of that book, as The Atlantic magazine explained in a book review, is “anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society.”
In Kendi’s Prologue to his 2016 book, strongly espousing “critical race theory,” the author described its thesis:
“Frankly speaking, for generations of Americans, racist ideas have been their common sense…Racists confessing to their crimes is not in their self-interest…Criminals hardly ever acknowledge their crimes against humanity. And the shrewdest and most powerful anti-Black criminals have legalized their criminal activities, have managed to define their crimes of slave trading and enslaving and discriminating and killing outside of the criminal code…They have claimed instead that they were merely articulating God’s word, nature’s design, science’s plan, or plain old common sense…It has all allowed Americans who think there is something wrong with Black people to believe, somehow, that they are not racists.”
Towards the end of Kendi’s history book on pages 495 and 496, Kendi accused American whites of using the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008 as an excuse to remove anti-discrimination laws.