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OC’s Placentia-Yorba Linda School District Narrowly Votes To Ban Critical Race Theory

Nine people are seated at a large dais with a sign on a wall behind them reading Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School district board voted 3-2 to ban instruction in critical race theory at its meeting on April 5, 2022.
(Screenshot from YouTube)
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The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District has banned the teaching of critical race theory "or other similar frameworks" in the classroom. The school board voted 3-2 in favor of the resolution at its meeting on Tuesday night.

It joins several school districts and state governments across the country that have banned its instruction, arguing, among other things, that it paints the U.S. as inherently racist.

Critical race theory — the examination of how racism shapes laws and policies — is usually taught at the university level and is not typically a subject of study in K-12 classrooms.

During public comment, eighth-grade student Avery Yang urged the board not to pass the ban.

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"Teaching race-related topics is not about blaming any one group," Yang said. "Instead, it is trying to understand different perspectives, especially those different from our own, so we can understand how past history affects our current society. This is critically important for us as a next generation to not repeat past mistakes."

Carrie Buck, the school board's president, was one of the two "no" votes.

"Our curriculum has never been and isn't [critical race theory]," Buck said. "This resolution is politically driven, and it serves to ban and censor."

Buck said more than 100 students emailed her, rallying against the ruling. She said it's the first time she's seen solidarity from the student body on that level.

Board member Leandra Blades, who favors the ban, said she wants her kids to learn the basics and get a good education. In defense of the resolution, she said it prevents critical race theory and similar topics from being forced on those who do not want to learn about them.

"I don't want my politics. I don't want your politics. I don't want anybody's politics in there," Blades said. "I do believe in teaching kids to think critically. But there are so many classes like the library, there are so many things you could teach your kids at home, if you really are passionate about these subjects, then teach them but just the people who are against it, it shouldn't be forced."

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