Snohomish school board hears parents opposed to
critical race theory
SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish School Board meeting held on June 9 was a roller coaster of emotion. What started with accolades took a turn during public comments as 21 of the 28 speakers voiced their concerns about Critical Race Theory, sex education, masks and vaccinations.
Ashley Cramer, who spoke at the meeting, threatened the board with a petition to hold them responsible for what Cramer alleges as harming children with unlawful mask and vaccine requirements and Critical Race Theory (CRT), which the district has not implemented, over damage to their “biological property.”
Cramer stated her desired remedy is to restore the children’s “inalienable rights.”
What is Critical Race Theory?
Many of the 28 parents who spoke voiced concern about CRT being racist itself, fearing that their children may be targets of institutional racism. David Frati stated his daughter is afraid her Black friend won’t like her anymore.
Superintendent Dr. Kent Kultgen stated at the end of the meeting that the “Snohomish School District does not have a Critical Race Theory curriculum or class. Critical Race Theory is not mandated by the state.”
Critical Race Theory, developed in the 1970s, is the latest buzz phrase going around.
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines that “Critical Race Theory (CRT), is an intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the
premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color.”
That can be a lot for some college students to process, let alone a grade-schooler.
Why has CRT even come up in Snohomish and what is the school board doing with it?
“There have been many public reports about this topic that we, too, have been following to educate ourselves about the topic,” said Kristin Foley, communications director for the Snohomish School District.
At the meeting, some parents also voiced concern for including LGBTQ+ topics to curriculum, some saying that it is immoral to teach. Todd Huotari said he removed his children from public school because he feels “sexual education and gender theories are abusive to their minds (and) confuses basic biology.”
Different cultures and faiths have different perspectives on sexuality and gender roles. With that in mind, Snohomish School District parents are given the choice to opt-out of the classes and choose to teach their children about the subject. This option has always been available to parents.
“The district’s health education and human growth and development curriculum have not changed,” Foley said. “All information including resources of what is taught at each grade level can be found at www.sno.wednet.edu/
healtheducation. Opt-out is available for anyone who does not want to participate.”
For the time being, masks are mandatory and the choice isn’t up to the board. Like all school districts, Snohomish has guidelines it must
Foley explained that “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington State Department of Health, the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and Snohomish Health District have all noted masks are required for all individuals in the school setting (K-12). The district must follow the student health and safety requirements mandated by these entities.”
Some parents spoke about the COVID-19 vaccines, such as Drew James, who was angry with his child’s school assignment which “promotes the vaccine.”
Asked on what the district can do on vaccines, Foley said that “school immunization requirements are established by the Washington State Department of Health and follow the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) immunization schedule.”
The state has not mandated COVID-19 vaccination to attend K-12 public school. Whether to mandate vaccinations isn’t in the hands of the school board.
Pfizer is currently projecting the vaccine to be available for children ages 9-11 in September or October.
For more information on Snohomish School District’s health education guidelines, go to www.sno.wednet.edu/healtheducation
For information on Washington State immunization requirements, go to www.sno.wednet.edu/Page/2691
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