Meghan Mangrum, Tennessean, August 25, 2021
Despite Tennessee’s new ban on teaching topics related to critical race theory, Nashville’s school board has pledged to help eradicate institutional racism and white supremacy culture.
Eight members of the Metro Nashville Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday in support of “a multicultural education” for the district’s more than 80,000 students.
“The Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education will advocate for research and implementation of social and educational strategies that foster the eradication of institutional racism and white privilege perpetuated by white supremacy culture,” the resolution reads. “[And will] furthermore, stand behind teachers who teach the Tennessee Academic Standards in a factual manner that represents the truth of this country’s history.”
During the final days of the legislative session this spring, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting certain concepts related to race and meritocracy from being taught.
Earlier this month, the Tennessee Department of Education released proposed guidance for how current students, families or staff could file grievances if they believe prohibited material is being taught in a school.
Districts found to have knowingly violated the law could lose millions of dollars in state funding.
Two Middle Tennessee chapters of Moms for Liberty, a conservative parent advocacy group founded in Florida, have continued to raise concerns about Metro Nashville Public Schools’ literacy curriculum, Wit & Wisdom.
The curriculum, which is used by more than 30 Tennessee school districts and was approved through a waiver process by the state education department, features books and topics that some parents find inappropriate.
One such book is “Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story,” by Ruby Bridges — which parents have argued during the public comment period of school board meetings shows “all white people being seen as evil”.