School board members look for exits as meetings get heated over CRT, other topics

School board members look for exits as meetings get heated over CRT, other topics

Heated school board meetings on topics that include critical race theory have prompted some school board members to look for the exit due to the clashes that some say lead to threats and harassment, according to a report.

Critical race theory has been the center of debate in D.C. and local school districts. It is seen as a way of considering America’s history through the lens of racism. The theory has been discussed at various meetings across the country and have often led to tense exchanges. 

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“I find critical race theory to be just an absolutely disgustingly racist ideology that has been developed with the intention of really driving a wedge between various groups in America, various ethnic groups, and to use that to absolutely ruin our nation,” Paso Robles, Calif., school board president Chris Arend told Fox News earlier this month after his board blocked it from being taught in classrooms. “Very simple.”

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The Associated Press reported that there has been a growing number of school board members who are “resigning or questioning their willingness to serve as meetings have devolved into shouting contests” focused on critical race theory, masks inside schools and other politically charged topics.

Chip Slaven, the National School Boards Association’s interim executive director, told the AP that there is no evidence that suggests widespread departures but he – along with board members reached for the report—said the tense political climate has made the job nearly impossible.

Some of these clashes have even ended up in court. 

Loudoun County residents requested that a Virginia court recall seven board members who reportedly belonged to a secret, “anti-racist” Facebook group. For example, the lawsuit alleges that Beth Barts, a board member, and other members effectively held illegal meetings by participating in exclusive Facebook groups and emails. Barts specifically has been accused of violating county policy by disrespecting fellow board members and showing a disregard for public concern on various issues. 

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Barts did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.

The lawsuit came as the entire school board faced a national backlash over its embrace of so-called “equity” training. 

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz, Sam Dorman and the Associated Press contributed to this report