OC School District Bans Critical Race Theory

The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District board joined a massive culture war Tuesday night with a 3-2 vote to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in schools.

“The California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum defines Critical Race Theory as a practice of interrogating race and racism in society,” the resolution says. “CRT recognizes that race is not biologically real but is socially constructed and socially significant. It acknowledges that racism is embedded within systems and institutions that replicate racial inequality—codified in law, embedded in structures, and woven into public policy. BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District will not include Critical Race Theory as a framework in any course offerings.” 

The resolution was approved after an hour of public comment, in which more than half of the attendees spoke in opposition to the ban. The two no votes came from Board President Carrie Buck and Trustee Karin Freeman, who called it an act of censorship. Although their vote does not count, the student board member also voted against the ban, saying they wanted their opposition on record.

PYLUSD is the first district in Orange County to formally ban CRT, which school officials have denied teaching in the first place. The framework has been the subject of criticism and outright panic in conservative circles. Republican politicians and media figures say CRT is being used to poison thoughts about American greatness and pit races against one another. Academics and students have countered that teachings about systemic racism offer important context for American history and the ongoing struggles for social justice today.

Read more about Tuesday’s vote at Voice of OC