Comments of Mary Byrne to Springfield, MO public schools board on critical race theory

Mary R. Byrne, Ed.D.
December 8, 2020
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I’d like to address Focus Area 5, Goal 1 of the 2019-2020 Strategic Plan End of Year Report that will be presented tonight specifically with regard to the following language:

Facing Racism training objectives included but were not limited to:
■ Prepare leaders to understand cultural consciousness and how to be aware of the impact of cultural differences
Introduce the components of critical race theory
■ Understand the historical role of racism and systems of oppression.

If you as board members are not intimately aware of what Critical Race Theory is or how it is applied in your professional development required content, then please educate yourself on how you are spending our tax dollars.

First, please be advised, if you are not aware already, that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is rooted in Critical Theory developed at the Frankfort School in Germany, and is the foundational philosophy of Marxism. The race conscious approach of CRT undermines liberalism which is the philosophy on which the U.S. Constitution is based is a contributing factor to the undermining of U.S. history.

Second, please be advised that proponents of White fragility identify academic content such as the scientific method which includes objective, rational linear thinking, cause and effect relationships, and quantitative emphasis (i.e., mathematics) as an aspect of White Culture in the United States as indicated on the table I have provided as an attachment to this cover page. The table, “Some Aspects and Assumptions of White Culture in the United States,” was developed by Judith H. Katz, a consultant on diversity education.

In addition to a cornerstone of science and medicine being categorized as “White,” the nuclear family, including a father, mother, and multiple children as a basic social unit is targeted for dissolution by groups that promote social change based on Critical Race Theory such as Black Lives Matter, Inc. Note that this position aligns with a goal of the Communist Manifesto and is antithetical to the religious teaching of a large number of churches in this school district, specifically, those who teach the 5th Commandment described in the Book of Exodus – Honor thy father and mother.

Finally, the racist nature of anti-racism education, was widely publicized in several national publications this past summer. I have attached an article Jonah Goldberg published in the New York Post last July. Goldberg critiqued the white fragility content imposed on school personnel as professional development stating, “This nonsense works on the assumption that mainstream, bourgeois norms — hard work, delayed gratification, punctuality, etc. — have no intrinsic or extrinsic value separate and apart from white culture and white privilege. That’s not only insane, it’s harmful, because it gives people permission to reject these norms as “structures of oppression” . . ..”

I can assure you, that the lack of personnel focus on academic content and how to teach it and the deliberate undermining of American history has contributed to the decline in academic achievement by students in this district. Consider well the effects of your decision to continue this line of professional development as you consider the impact they will have on SPS students, their parents, and on community support for SPS from all groups represented in this district.

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