On June 17 Board President Kenneth Keith opened the Souderton Area School Board meeting with an inflammatory speech that referenced national right-wing talking points condemning critical race theory and implicit bias training. He received a standing ovation from the anti-school equity crowd in the audience. The meeting lasted three hours and consisted of mostly public comments. A few of the anti-equity people who had signed up to speak chose not to go to the microphone, because they felt that Mr. Keith had spoken for them. Others voiced their opposition to conducting an equity audit of the schools. The word “equity” itself came under attack, when one speaker announced that its use came from Black Lives Matter ideology and was a backdoor way of insinuating Marxism and communism into our schools.

A new group of Souderton Area residents and parents has begun to provide a community voice for unity. A number of people stepped up to the microphone on June 17 to demonstrate that the anti-school equity lobby does not represent everyone in the school district. Hopefully now the school district leadership will begin to give equal attention to the pro-school equity side of the conversation and perhaps take some steps to bring the sides together, rather than inflame divisiveness.

If you are new to this community conversation and haven’t yet seen the outstanding coverage of the June 17 meeting done by Kenneth Cooper of WHYY, his article would be a good place to start: https://whyy.org/articles/the-national-argument-over-critical-race-theory-and-the-1619-project-reaches-the-souderton-school-district/

Richard Detwiler

Souderton

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