SPRINGFIELD, MO – The Republican Attorney General for the State of Missouri has filed a lawsuit against the School District in Springfield after allegations surfaced that they hid staff training that promotes controversial critical race theory.
Missouri AG Eric Schmitt on Tuesday sued one of the state's largest school districts, alleging it has violated open records laws in an effort to thwart public disclosure of #CRT training materials for teachers and curriculum for students.#JustTheNewshttps://t.co/KtSUfKn1BE
— Just the News (@JustTheNews) November 16, 2021
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed the lawsuit after he learned that the district in Springfield may have violated a transparency law when they restricted access to training materials used for teachers and staff.
Schmitt explained his reasoning for the lawsuit to Fox News:
“Today we sued Springfield Public Schools on behalf of parents to find out exactly what is being taught to their children, especially as teachers and staff are attending trainings where they’re required to consult an ‘oppression matrix’ and other materials.
Springfield Public Schools have stonewalled parents and a state representative, but they will not stonewall the Attorney General’s Office.”
The critical race theory that Schmitt is referencing is a controversial theme that is being taught throughout the county in mainly liberal areas that supposedly breaks down different aspects of society to discover what people believe are systemic racist beliefs that plague this country.
Proponents of this theory believe that it helps enlighten children of all walks of life and hope that it teaches children to be more accepting of one another.
Those who oppose the theory allege that it does nothing other than teach children to hate people of white heritage or teach white children to hate themselves.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleges in a lawsuit that the Springfield school district violated the state's Sunshine Law in its response to his office's request for records related to critical race theory and anti-racist teaching.https://t.co/5MULQrVhnb
— KPRS – Hot 103 Jamz (@Hot103Jamz) November 17, 2021
According to Fox News, in December of 2020 a report was reviewed that showed that the school district had required its teachers and staff to attend a one-day training from the Facing Racism Institute.
The district explained at the time that the goal of forcing all employees to attend this training was to “introduce the components of critical race theory from educational research with applications to the district.”
In one of the training sessions provided at the ‘institute,’ those who were in attendance were told to look at an “Oppression Matrix” and decide where they fall into it. On this matrix are separate groups for privileged, border, oppressed social, and social identity groups.
To give everyone an idea of how this matrix works, if you are born a male, you are labeled as automatically being in the “privileged social group.” Whereas if you are born a female, you are labeled as being in the “oppressed social group.”
Attorney General @Eric_Schmitt has sued Springfield Public Schools for allegedly violating #Missouri’s information transparency law, citing the district’s unwillingness to provide documents on behalf of #Parents concerned about #CriticalRaceTheory. https://t.co/hNpI6VYDHh
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) November 19, 2021
Another course material that was presented was a white supremacy chart in which the selections were ONLY either overt or covert. Overt white supremacy is described as much of you would think, racist jokes, lynching, the KKK. While covert certainly has some head-scratchers, like being colorblind, claiming reverse-racism, and daring to say the term, “all lives matter.”
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Schmitt is upset because he alleges the Springfield School District Superintendent, Grenita Lathan, had refused to share with the public any future equity training documents.
He further noted that the school has received two Sunshine Law requests for training materials regarding critical race theory, after which:
“[O]n both occasions, Springfield Public Schools provided outrageous fee estimates totaling tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although both Sunshine Law requests were identical, Springfield Public Schools provided completely different fee estimates.”
Stephen Hall, a spokesman for the school district, spoke to Fox News about the lawsuit. He said:
“SPS is disappointed by the Attorney General’s decision to use the power of his office to attack public education. This is an attempt to intimidate SPS, and while it will not prevail, it will, unfortunately, require considerable taxpayer resources to defend.”
Hall then denied that the school district is teaching any material relative to critical race theory. He said:
“SPS has been very clear: Critical Race Theory is not being taught in our classrooms. Our work is focused on equity, not CRT. SPS is being intentional in the educational experiences we provide all of our students.
Ensuring our district is equitable and inclusive is our ethical responsibility to make SPS safe for all students and staff. Any deliberate attempt to misrepresent this important work, especially for political purposes, is shameful indeed.”
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That patriot, Jimmy Lee Tillman II, wears many hats. He is a father and a grandfather. He is the president and founder of the Martin Luther King Republicans.
In addition, Tillman is a historian and the acclaimed author of Tillman’s Handbook of Great Black American Patriots & Guide to the National Parks and Landmarks, Statues, Museums and Historic Places dedicated to them.
This book is Tillman’s well-crafted answer to CRT rhetoric that “falsely attempts to re-imagine American history as a racist country founded to oppress all Black people.”
Tillman’s Handbook profiles 26 black Americans, from the Colonial era to modern times, who helped shape the history of America. The profiles include eye-catching historical photos, prints, and letters.
Tillman educates the reader on well-known figures such as Harriet Tubman and Dr. Ben Carson, as well as lesser-known but very impactful figures such as Robert Smalls, a sea captain for the Union Army who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
One aspect of the book that is especially striking is its positivity. For certain, there is no glossing over of the trials and tribulations that black Americans endured. Indeed, many of the figures featured were born slaves or children of slaves.
And yet, the profiles paint positive and uplifting pictures of true patriots, devoted to America and its Constitution – patriots who worked tirelessly to shape this country in the face of daunting challenges, by rising in the political and civil rights arenas, by fighting in wars, and by influencing political leaders.
Educator and presidential advisor Dr. Mary McLeod-Bethune, for example, was born in 1875 as the child of former slaves, and she spent her life in the South throughout Jim Crow and anti-black violence, all the while laying foundations for the civil rights movement.
Tillman wrote of her:
“She possessed unwavering patriotism, a strong sense of racial pride and even walked with a cane that had once belonged to her friend, President Franklin Roosevelt.”
Dr. McLeod-Bethune’s strength and positivity came through in her will in 1955, when she wrote:
“I leave you hope. The Negro’s growth will be great in the years to come. Yesterday our ancestors endured the degradation of slavery, yet they retained their dignity.
“Today, we direct our strength toward winning a more abundant and secure life.
“Tomorrow, a new Negro, unhindered by race taboos and shackles, will benefit from more than 330 years of ceaseless struggle. Theirs will be a better world. This I believe with all my heart.”
Tillman’s book also serves as a travel guide, featuring an alphabetical listing and description of over 50 national parks and landmarks, statues, museums, and other historic places dedicated to the courageous black patriots who have played such a great and indispensable part in the growth of this country.
Recently, I had the pleasure of connecting with Tillman to hear his views on racism and Critical Race Theory, and on the book as his answer to the CRT rhetoric.
Part of Tillman’s goal with the book is to dispel lies that he sees being spread about black history, lies that perpetuate division.
He told me:
“I wanted America to know that, they [Critical Race theorists] say that in the days of slavery… that we couldn’t write or read, that if we got caught reading or writing, we’d be hung. That was the most fearful story they told to every black youth in America. But it’s a lie.
“Because here we have Phyllis Wheatley back in the 1700s writing General Washington letters, telling him, don’t give up the fight. How can someone who couldn’t read and write be writing letters and not be killed for that?”
“We have Benjamin Banneker writing an almanac, writing plans, arguing against slavery to the Supreme Court. Now that was in the 1700s. How come he’s not dead, hung for reading and writing, if it was outlawed for us to read and write at that time?…
“Frederick Douglass had his paper, the North Star. How are you going to start a newspaper if blacks can’t read and write?…
“You see, they are just passing parts of history to keep the vision of this separation afloat…. The CRT don’t want to list the accomplishments that Americans had in founding this country, from the Bunker Hills all the way to Afghanistan….
“It’s things that have been told, picked and chosen, just to keep America apart.
“The greatness of America is when we all are one. We are not one race, we are just all bound by laws we agree upon, and how we treat one another, under a Judeo-Christian value system. That’s a true American.”
“I think the Democratic Party needs racism to keep their black voters angry, because right now there’s nothing to hold them to the polls. We just saw in Minnesota where the defund the police was overwhelmingly rejected, especially by the black community. And you see what happened in Virginia.
“So right now they are being exposed… They are trying to tear down all their Democratic generals like Lee… and all the Confederate statues who were Democrats. They don’t want to tell you about the Democratic white citizen council or how the Ku Klux Klan was the military ring of the Democratic Party. They don’t want to have this information out….
“They give you the pictures of slavery, because if you want to show the images of Jim Crow, and busing, and all that pain that happened that King was fighting against, you more than likely will see the faces of the leaders right now that are in the Democratic Party….
“I don’t want the Democratic Party… to put America back on the plantation mindset: blacks are inferior, they vote one way, they think one way, they’re monolithic.”
Regarding the effect he hopes for his book, Tillman told me:
“The impact I would like to see my book have on people is to start a dialogue and to open the eyes and minds of white Americans, white patriots, even white liberals, of the true history of the black man and woman here in America, and their contributions to America.
“And that we should be looked at as Americans, because we were here from the beginning of the founding of the country, and we fought for the founding of the country.”
Tillman then reflected on Crispus Attucks, who has been described as “the first to defy, the first to die” by poet John Boyle O’Reilly. As Tillman recounts in his handbook, Attucks was the first man killed in the Boston Massacre, and he thus became the very first casualty of the American Revolutionary War.
“If it weren’t for the blood of a black man, we might not have the country that we have today….
“They want to say we’re a racist country, always been racist, but we went to war after the death of a black man….
“You can’t say that a country that went to war because of the death of a black man, that we were always a racist country.”
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