Cherokee County

‘Their own language is confusing:’ District votes against adopting Critical Race Theory

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — After a heated debate at Thursday night’s Cherokee County School Board meeting, the board chose not to adopt the controversial Critical Race Theory, but many parents were left confused about the outcome.

The hot-button issue on the board’s agenda was whether or not to allow Critical Race Theory to be taught in Cherokee County classrooms.

According to Kimberley Crenshaw with Columbia Law School, CRT is an academic idea that racism is not just an individual bias, but part of everyday life, and embedded in things like the legal system.

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Supporters and opponents of the resolution came out in droves to express their opinions before the board made a vote.

Once the debate finished, the board voted four in favor and one in opposition to the resolution. Two abstained from the vote.

Parents told Channel 2 Action News after the meeting, however, that they were confused about the outcome of the vote based on the wording of the question.

[RELATED: Governor urges educators not to teach Critical Race Theory and its ‘dangerous ideology’]

One woman who Channel 2 spoke with said even members of the board questioned the wording, leading to the two abstentions.

“The board didn’t even know how to vote. He literally said, ‘I’m confused by the wording of the question, of the motion. I don’t know if I’m supposed to vote for it or against it based on the way it was worded,” said Bailey Katzenstein.

“I was a little confused...I guess we’re OK with taking CRT out. That’s what they agreed to do tonight, but there’s still some verbiage that needs to be taken out,” said Terie Williams.

Atlanta NAACP president Richard Rose said everyone including students need to face the truth about systemic racism in the country.

“For so long black folk has been written out of American history, we are in a period of adjust and we need to continue this period of adjustment until we face the truth about all of the good and the bad about America,” Rose said.

According to the public agenda for the Board’s meeting, the resolution states, in part:

“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by vote of the members of the Cherokee County Board o Education at a duly called meeting held on May 20, 2021, the Cherokee County School Board and Cherokee County School District in pursuit of the aforementioned goals and objectives will NOT implement “Critical Race Theory,” also called CRT, in our schools – not under that name nor by any other name, nor will we be using The 1619 Project in our schools – not under that name nor by any other name.”

“People don’t understand. I had to have [School Board Member Brad Thomas] explain it to me just now,” Williams told Channel 2. “I don’t understand the quickness of it, that they had to vote so quick and get out.”

Cherokee County School District Chief Communications Officer Barbara Jacoby clarified to Channel 2 Action News that the board voted to pass the resolution.