Elmbrook Schools Board holds listening session regarding draft of ‘Equity Principles’

NOW: Elmbrook Schools Board holds listening session regarding draft of ‘Equity Principles’

BROOKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) – The Elmbrook Schools Board of Education held a listening session on Tuesday, May 25 regarding a draft of the district’s ‘Equity Principles’.

The meeting started with the school board president stating Critical Race Theory will not be taught in Elmbrook Schools.

“Let me emphasize we teach students how to think, not what to think, which is the role of education,” Board president Scott Wheeler said.

Critical Race Theory looks at how the law and legal institutions are inherently racist. The proposed Equity Principles in the Elmbrook School District include removing barriers to teaching and learning and recruiting a diverse workforce.

“As a school district we need to make sure that all of our students are celebrated, comfortable and empowered,” one person said.

Another parent added, “One of the best things about public education is learning from and about people who aren’t exactly like you. Discussing issues of race is not an agenda or political strategy.”

However, others disagreed.

“Ask yourself this, do you really see racism everywhere you look? Because if you do, maybe you need to start hanging out with different people,” one man said.

Elmbrook Schools Chief Strategy Officer Chris Thompson sent CBS 58 the following statement regarding the session:

"Our School Board and Administration are appreciative of our community’s engagement last evening on a topic that is attracting attention across the country. As one of the top school districts in the state of Wisconsin, we remain committed to serving all students, removing barriers to educational opportunities, and challenging each student to reach their full potential. We are equally committed to providing factual information about our curriculum, the purpose of the equity principles, as well as the development of our staff, and we will continue to share this information with our community and all those willing to listen.

To be clear, we do not teach Critical Race Theory to our students nor train our staff on its tenets. The Equity Principles are not a curriculum or a program, but rather serve as guideposts designed to inform our work as we strive to achieve our District’s vision of preparing every student for college, career and life success."

The school board is expected to meet on June 8 and may consider taking action on the Equity Principles.

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