In January, a multi-part undercover investigation throughout the state of Ohio revealed that educators were preparing to skirt a potential law against Critical Race Theory (CRT) and are covertly introducing these divisive concepts to their students unbeknownst to their parents.
Following the release of Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) investigation that outraged parents and residents throughout the state some of the exposed school districts attempted to dismiss the investigation as “lacking context.”
On Tuesday, AIM released long-form footage of investigators hidden camera conversation with Matthew Boaz, the executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Upper Arlington Schools outside of Columbus, Ohio.
Days after the original publication of the story the director of communications for Upper Arlington Schools claimed that CRT “is not taught or used in the district.”
However, in the extended footage of the interaction with Boaz, the educator is not exonerated but rather further exposes himself and his district.
In the recording, Boaz discussed ways the district might work around a CRT ban.
“We’re going to do whatever we do and we’ll find a way. I’ll tell you right now, there’s people in this community that will probably set up Saturday school or something and they’ll be having like all the parents who want their children to learn about these things, just come to such and such’s house and believe me some of these houses are big enough to entertain everybody in the yard. And they’ll be holding school right there and you’ll be getting all your CRT,” Boaz said.
When asked what would happen to the pupils whose parents wouldn’t want to send them to this type of activity, Boaz responded that they would feel excluded since they want to be a part of “the popular crowd.”
“So just go ahead and pass your bill. And we’ll just see what happens,” Boaz said.
Throughout the interview, the educator emphasized that he does not advertise his ambitions.
“Like I said, I’m not going to get on a megaphone and say it. But, if you think I’m not going to be fighting over here, I’ll be fighting. I’m going to be doing it my way. I hope the bill doesn’t pass, but if it does, that’s not going to shut everything down,” Boaz said.
The bill in reference is House Bill (HB) 616, which lawmakers introduced last session. The legislation aimed to prohibit the “teaching or providing training that promotes or endorses divisive or inherently racist concepts.” The legislation did not advance out of the House.
But, educators like Boaz said such regulation would not have prevented them from teaching these concepts.
Boaz also recounted a conversation with a parent who objected to Ibram X. Kendi‘s How To Be An Antiracist.
According to Boaz, the parent informed him that they had discovered the book on the district’s website and that they didn’t agree with the book’s anti-racist stance or its analysis of capitalism versus communism. According to Boaz, the parent had spent over 20 years living in communist China.
He laughed as he told the investigators that he had taken the reference off the website to please the parent but added that it was “probably in our library. But, whatever. I mean, I’ll take it off my website. It’s all good.”
Boaz also informed the AIM investigators that he expects parents to be very detailed in their grievances. He asks them questions until he narrows down their grievance to the point where he can apply a surface-level solution, like removing a book’s mention from the website, without genuinely addressing the parent’s concern, which in this case was the teaching of anti-racism and its ideals.
He also talked about watering down a diversification plan to avoid attracting media attention. Boaz stated that he would rather covertly introduce CRT principles into classrooms.
“We go to the school board and get it approved, but we don’t need to do all that,” Boaz said.
Boaz also discussed with the investigators how he may make modifications without raising suspicion.
“They’re not going to be supportive if I lay out everything we’re going to do. But if I talk to them about doing this one thing, in the name of supporting students, they probably won’t have an issue with this one thing. And by the time we get that thing established, if I start talking to them about this one other thing – they don’t realize that was two things. Five years, we look back and we’re like, ‘What the hell happened?’” Boaz said.
AIM President Adam Guillette warned other school districts exposed in the investigation that there is plenty more context where that came from.
Ohioans are using their tax dollars to pay these radicals who are deceiving them. These public school administrators are outspokenly committed to advancing social justice in the classroom; they are committed to teaching kids that capitalism is inherently racist and that America is systemically racist. When parents speak out against these practices, the schools dismiss them as dramatic or committing a slippery slope fallacy. However, the comments by the school administrators validate Ohio parents’ concerns.
Republican lawmakers are pushing for the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 11 to allow parents to make the best educational decisions for their children and to help end the political games played by the public education system.
Under SB 11, the current EdChoice Scholarship Program would expand to all Ohio students for either a $5,500 scholarship (for grades K-8) or a $7,500 scholarship (for grades 9-12) to attend a private school. Families choosing to home-school would be eligible for a non-refundable state tax credit of up to $2,000 for reimbursement of educational expenses for their children.
According to Ohio’s largest Christian public policy organization, the Center for Christian Virtue‘s President Aaron Baer, “Ohio must no longer allow any student to be trapped in underperforming and radically progressive schools that undermine parental rights and authority.”
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]