Aiken school board OK’s modern culture, African American studies classes for 2021-2022 school year


AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — We now know more about what classes will be taught in Aiken County schools that some say is dealing with race.

This year, critical race theory has been a hot-button topic discussed with school leaders and community members. “What I found was critical race theory is a very, very complicated subject and construct,” President of the Aiken County NAACP Eugene White said.

Aiken school board tables discussions on three classes involving critical race theory

“Race is essential to what it means to live in America. So more about African Americans and this nation must be taught. The question is, how should it be taught in a productive way?” one woman added.

As Shawn reported in May, the Aiken school board decided to table discussions on three classes involving critical race theory. Now, the Aiken County school board has finally put its heads together to settle the debate once and for all. School board members discussed two of the three classes during their recent board meeting. Those courses: Modern Culture Events at North Augusta Middle School and African American Studies at Schofield Middle School.

“When I looked at the class materials related to the courses that we’re going to talk about, there’s no mention of any of those heavy concepts in any of those courses. In fact, although I think the world of our grade K-12 teachers, they would have a very hard time in integrating any of those concepts and any of the courses that we offer in our K-12,” White added.

Another course was being considered but was dropped due to lack of demand. The final decision didn’t come without debate among board members.

“I just like to discuss it a little bit more in-depth before we vote so that we have a little bit better understanding,” one board member said.

“Are we concerned when we’re using the word multicultural and diversity, everything’s not falling under this critical race theory? If these courses have always been a part of the curriculum and their electives at the schools who have chosen to have these courses,” another one added.

“I feel that we should either look at classes that can help these kids be college and career ready. So that’s the concern that I have,” board member Sandra Shealey added.

After less than an hour, officials made the decision of keeping the two classes.

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