Critical race theory workshop hosted by Temecula school district descends into chaos

Saturday, March 25, 2023
TEMECULA, Calif. (KABC) -- Chaos erupted at a Temecula Valley Unified School District meeting Wednesday night as audience members clashed over the board's decision to hire an anti-critical race theory consultant.

The consultant was paid $15,000 of tax-payer money, which some people took issue with since critical race theory isn't taught in the Temecula Valley Unified School District.

It all started when the public comment portion quickly turned chaotic after a man gave a series of passionate remarks.

"Your continued blatant and willful ignorance of the Black experience in this country is not only shameful, but also detrimental to the growth and education of our children," he said.

Videos of the explosive confrontations have since gone viral, one of which includes a woman heard yelling at the speaker to "get out of the country."

The people in crowd then demanded she be escorted out.

Local Councilman Brian Hawkins said he had no choice but to step in during another moment.

"When I turned to my left, all I see is this tall white man standing over this small young Black girl," he said. "That's when I grabbed his shoulder, and stood between the young lady and the man, and let him know, you don't stand over a child like this."

"The way it started, it didn't end that way and she knew she wasn't by herself," recalled Hawkins.

Hawkins is hopeful something good comes from of all the chaos.

"The best thing that could come from this is that what's happening in Temecula Unified School District, is bringing some serious attention," he said.

The board in December voted 3-2 in favor of a resolution banning critical race theory, also known at CRT, in the district's K-12 curriculum.

The resolution calls CRT "racist ideology" that assigns generational guilt on policies long in the past.

The Columbia Law School defines CRT as "a legal analysis that examines how laws, social and political movements are shaped by race."

"There is a quote that says 'If you don't learn from history you're doomed to repeating it," Hawkins said.

Eyewitness News has reached out multiple times to the Temecula Valley Unified School District, but has not heard back.

Public school education in the U.S. has long invited concern among some parents - usually conservative - over what children are taught. Historically, the term "parents' rights" has been used in schoolhouse debates over homeschooling, sex education and even the teaching of languages other than English.

Recently, Republicans have tapped into frustrations over remote learning and mask mandates in schools, as well as social conservatives' opposition to certain teachings in critical race theory, a way of thinking about America's history through the lens of racism.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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