Redmond School District

Redmond School District offices.

Parents and activists who are upset about a curriculum that includes issues of race and gender delivered a stern warning to the Redmond School Board this week: They would pull their children out of schools if the curriculum remains unchanged.

Some of the more than 50 people in attendance Wednesday were also part of the organized protest at the Bend-La Pine School Board meeting on Tuesday. Both protests also took issue with the use of masks in schools.

“Please know from all the people here tonight and many more that aren’t: This is a warning from parents that you serve,” said Liz Batterson, a grandmother. “Pushing CRT (critical race theory), pushing LGBTQ ideologies upon our children will destroy the brick and mortar system and place all of you into no jobs and no positions to hold as there will be no more public schools if we pull all of our children out.”

Some parents at the meeting told the board they had already pulled their children out of Redmond schools. Batterson said her granddaughter would not attend in the fall and be homeschooled instead.

Critical race theory is a collection of concepts addressing racial inequity and is taught in higher education. It has become a catchall phrase for efforts to address systemic racism. The phrase is often used by conservatives in a national culture war that is spilling into K-12 education.

Sheila Miller, a spokeswoman for Redmond School District, said critical race theory is not taught in Redmond Schools. Issues of race are taught as part of social studies classes.

The Redmond School Board created an equity task force for the district in September to address inequities in local schools, combat explicit and implicit racism and diversify the district’s workforce. No concrete goals have yet been set by the task force.

While speakers at the Bend-La Pine School Board meeting Tuesday took issue with teaching related to race and gender, most of them were there to discuss the school district’s plan for masking inside classrooms. The school district plans to follow the federal Centers of Disease and Prevention guidelines.

Redmond School District, on the other hand, will no longer require masks to be worn by students and staff inside classrooms. Masks will continue to be required on school buses until the federal requirement is lifted.

B.J. Soper, a Redmond resident and parent, said that while the Redmond School District has made steps in a positive direction toward mask use, it’s not enough. Soper, a conservative activist, garnered national attention after joining Ammon Bundy during his takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

“Masking children is abuse. Contact tracing is a violation of our privacy,” he said. “My daughter will not be subject to the COVID nonsense, period. Nor will the Marxist, Communist agenda, such as the the Equity Task Force, be used to manipulate her education. This agenda is designed to create division, to instill some have less because of the color of their skin, that in order for equity to exist something must be taken from one to give to another.”

Scott Stuart, a Redmond resident who is part of the People’s Rights organization, a national conservative group founded by Bundy in 2020, also addressed the school board. Three Redmond city councilors on Wednesday denounced the appearance of a Confederate flag Stuart flew during the city’s Fourth of July parade.

Stuart claimed that Gov. Kate Brown overreached in her authority to mandate masks. He called Patrick Allen, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, and Michael Wood, head of the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Communists.

“We at war here,” Stuart told the school board. “You guys need to understand this. This is not a game. This is war. This is a takeover. And I’m not mentioning political parties, but one party in this nation has been confiscated by the Communist Party USA.”

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(11) comments

DAS1958

When these parents pull their children out of school they will realize the possible error they are making because education is about teaching ideas you might not agree with but that’s how our children learn to think for themselves. Why are people afraid of change and learning about others? I was taught about WWII in school but I had no desire to attack Europe because of it.

MF

Enough of this “it’s about time school board listens to real parents” nonsense. We’re ALL qualified to comment on what is taught. The “anti-accurate history” bunch are not more entitled to get their way. They are just noisier.

goldenhair52

The community of Redmond is 89 percent white. Yet, if Ammon Bundy's henchmen had their way, students would never know the names of Rosa Parks or MLK. They would only be taught a worldview that is militant white male. They have created an enemy where none exists because movements like theirs cannot exist without the presence of a perceived enemy. They have to an enemy in order to perpetuate propaganda.

DAS1958

I agree. What a mess.

112094

The only takeover has been by Stuart and Soper who have attempted to go against the US government by trying to institute wasteful policies that will never see the light of day such as the Idaho mess and that turn away from their fellow citizens. Black and gay people are your fellow citizens, with as much a right to a say in school curriculum as anyone. Indeed, without slaves there would be no USA

Thomas Who

These parents are absolutely right. It's good to see regular people expressing what they really feel about their children being subjected to indoctrination and forced behavioral modification programs against their will. Critical Race Theory, Black Lives Matter, and LGBQT indoctrination must never be allowed in the public schools here. Parents must decide what is taught to their children, not the teacher's unions.

91184

Did you read the part of the article where it says those things aren't taught in local schools?

Emmy

Redmond really needs to stop letting insurrectionists set policy. PR thinks they are above the law and the City refuses to hold them accountable

DAS1958

Wow. Just wow.

Funding Secured

'Parents say they will pull their children from schools if changes not made'

Are we sure this is a net negative? Just asking questions the school board cant.

112094

Indeed

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