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Community divided over lessons of race in Guilford classrooms

While the forum was happening, a group protested outside. The group was holding signs in support of the board of education and its mission.

GUILFORD, Conn. — A forum titled "Understanding the Threat of Critical Race Theory" drew a crowd of dozens of people to the Guilford Community Center Thursday evening. It was led by the group "Truth in Education," and claimed that critical race theory is being taught in the classrooms at Guilford Public Schools.

"There is a total indoctrination of the Guilford school community going on right now," said Dave Holman, a member of the group.

Critical race theory was developed by scholars in the 1970s. It is a way of looking at the country's history through the lens of racism. It also focuses on ideas that racism is systemic and race is a cultural concept.

"Words like equity, social justice, inclusion, culturally responsible teaching. This is the language of Critical Race Theory," said Holman.

However, the superintendent, Dr. Paul Freeman says it is inaccurate that this is being taught in schools. In a statement, he said in part:

"We are working in Guilford Schools to be more equitable in our practice, to embrace diverse texts in our classrooms, to diversify our teaching ranks, to address difficult historical events honestly and openly, and to ensure that all children feel heard in their schools."

While the forum was happening, a group protested outside. The group was holding signs in support of the board of education and its mission.

"Less bullying, healthier self-esteem, reductions in all sorts of negative outcomes for kids when you do this work," said Lauren Dennehy, a Guilford parent. "When teachers are given permission to like just have their kids talk about complicated things, then they can work on solutions," she said.

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