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What Is Normal?

Undercover Video Shows Ohio Schools Teaching CRT and 'Tricking' Parents

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

A new undercover video unveiled by Accuracy in Media shows that school administrators in Ohio are finding ways to teach Critical Race Theory and “trick” parents into thinking that the subject is not being taught. 

In one instance, Matthew Boaz, the executive director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in Upper Arlington, Ohio, was captured on video saying that “you can pass a bill that you can’t teach CRT in the classroom, but if you didn’t cover programming or you didn’t cover extracurricular activities or something like that, that message might still get out. Oops. There will be a way.”

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” he said, adding that the school “absolutely” has conversations going around surrounding social justice, inclusion, and equity.

“We have some parents that, you know, they don’t fully understand [the curriculum]. So, you know, it’s…when we ‘trick them,’ you know? ” Hilary Staten, an administrative assistant in Groveport, Ohio, was caught saying. This was in regards to parents who are concerned about CRT in their children’s curriculum.

“What do you mean?” the person recording asked. 

“Well, I’m just…so, similar situation. If we have a certain content that we want to share with students and they see one word in the language it’s like ‘oh no, we can’t do that.’ Well, let’s loo at it from a different viewpoint and then they’re okay, you know?” Staten replied.

Melissa Klosterman-Lando, the director of Human Resources in Bexley, Ohio said that the school would “find parameters” to teach CRT if laws are in place that forbid doing so.

Accuracy in Media noted that several school administrators said “they would happily circumvent any such law” banning CRT. One way is by implementing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), which is a “Trojan Horse” for CRT. Some schools are reportedly using COVID-19 money towards this. 

“With the federal funds that got awarded for…the pandemic, we put a social worker and a guidance counselor in every single building and we incorporated a lot of materials that were focused on the Social-Emotional well being, self-regulating, you know, different levels and things like that,” Staten said in the video. 

“I feel like that’s a good way to get diversity, equity and inclusion into classes that it might not normally be in?” the cameraman asked. 

“Yes,” Staten responded.

“These radicals are being paid by your tax dollars to deceive you,” said Accuracy in Media President Adam Guillette. “These public school administrators are devoted to teaching your children that America is systemically racist, that capitalism is inherently racist.  And when parents speak out, they’re accused of being dramatic.”

“Parents want to believe in public education. They want to trust their child’s educators.  But I’m sorry to say, public education has broken that trust,” he added.

Upper Arlington Schools released a statement to Fox News Digital over the footage. 

"Upper Arlington Schools and the Upper Arlington Board of Education are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and ensuring our schools are places where every student is welcomed, respected, celebrated and supported while receiving the highest quality education," Upper Arlington interim Superintendent Kathy Jenney said. "This is a crucial part of ensuring that we live out our mission — to challenge and support every student, every step of the way."

"While we remain committed to DEI, critical race theory is not part of the district’s academic program," it continued. "The district follows the state learning standards and all laws in effect related to public education."

Groveport Madison Schools responded to the video, claiming that “Accuracy in Media’s video grossly and irresponsibly mischaracterized a conversation with a Groveport Madison School District Secretary that took place last summer.” 

"The video was taken without the secretary’s knowledge or permission, and the reporter and his colleague misrepresented themselves as new parents moving to the area," the statement continued. "The questioner manipulated the conversation in an effort to obtain sound bites fitting AIM’s agenda, then removed those statements from context."

Erika Sanzi, the director of outreach with Parents Defending Education, called the remarks from the school staffers in the video a “major red flag.” 

“Putting aside whether these bans make for smart or effective policy, it is a major red flag to hear school staff boasting about plans to deliberately deceive parents and the public,” Sanzi told Townhall. “It’s hard to imagine any justification for this flippant attitude towards dishonesty.” 

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