On Friday, the embattled Michelle Lujan Grisham administration’s New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) heard input from the public via a Zoom meeting regarding proposed updates to social studies standards that include the racist Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Parents and community members were overwhelmingly against the measures proposed. Stephen Theiss, a Santa Fe parent, said: “I believe the curriculum does seem to be a little over-politicized.” He added, “I don’t necessarily trust a teacher to be disciplined enough to keep their own political views out of this discussion.”
Multiple critics assailed the proposed standards as “anti-Hispanic,” “anti-gun,” “anti-conservative,” and overall racist.
For instance, in the proposed standards, students are to “[a]ssess how social policies and economic forces offer privilege or systemic inequity in accessing social, political, and economic opportunity for identity groups in education, government, healthcare, industry, and law enforcement.” This is a tenet of CRT.
Outside of the NMPED building in Santa Fe, parents and concerned New Mexicans protested the implementation of these standards, with signs reading things like “My Kids Identify as American,” “Stop Teaching Racism and Division,” “That Wish We Call Critical Race Theory By Any Other Name Still Stinketh,” “Creates Racial Tensions,” among others.
According to NMPED, “We received 1,445+ pages of written comment, and 107 people spoke about the standards in today’s hearing. By our count, 59 were in support and 48 in opposition.” These figures have not yet been independently verified by the Piñon Post.
Lt. Gov. Howie Morales also doubled down on his previous comments bashing parents concerned over CRT as a “noisy minority.” He told the Albuquerque Journal “In reality, it’s a smokescreen because critical race theory isn’t taught in the school system,” despite it being engrained in the very frameworks proposed by NMPED.
The standards include alarming new benchmarks, specifically targeting Hispanics, writing regarding historical thinking that students should “Compare the patterns of exploration, destruction and occupation of the Americas by Spaniards.”
Also demonized in the new curriculum are guns and gun owners. The rule states, that students are to “Examine the history of guns in America as compared to other world powers and the consequences of gun violence on American society past, present, and future.”