Teachers have taken to social media to debunk a claim by Democratic and academic officials that critical race theory is not taught in K-12 schools.
Daniel Buck, a Wisconsin teacher, tweeted a video of himself Friday, saying it is “patently false” to claim that critical race theory does not suffuse the thinking and pedagogy of modern educators. His tweet generated tens of thousands of retweets.
Mr. Buck’s posting followed a widely shared video by Tony Kinnett, an Indianapolis public school administrator who said people who claim that critical race theory is not an integral part of the education establishment “are lying.”
“When we tell you critical race theory isn’t taught in our schools, we’re lying,” Mr. Kinnett said.
Critical race theory and parental involvement in education became key issues last week in Virginia’s elections, in which Republicans bested Democrats in several races. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who lost his reelection bid to Republican Glenn Youngkin, had declared that critical race theory was not being taught in the state.
Mr. McAuliffe’s statement became a talking point that was repeated by education officials and liberal media figures.
“A lot of people are trying to pull the wool over your eyes,” Mr. Kinnett told The Washington Times. “It’s very misleading because in professional development for teachers, critical race theory is everywhere. Critical race theory and ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ are two sides of the same coin.”
Mr. Buck told The Times that the misdirection is rooted in a kind of semantic shell game in which people pretend that because classes are different than those in law school, they aren’t engaged with similar themes and ideas.
Critical race theory grew out of Marxist-based critical studies in graduate and law schools. It posits that racism is a foundational element of American society that can be excised by “anti-racist” policies aimed at equity and diversity.
Mr. Kinnett is the coordinator of science programs in elementary and secondary schools in Indianapolis, the state’s largest school system.
He said he is perplexed by education professionals and Democratic politicians denying that critical race theory is being taught when intellectuals embrace it so enthusiastically.
“What’s the matter?” he said. “If you think it’s so good, be honest. For some reason, though, they want to keep it a secret.”
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified where Daniel Buck teaches. He is a Wisconsin teacher.