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Collier Schools: No Critical Race Theory and Vaccines Not Required

A stack of school books.
A stack of school books.

The Collier County School Board held a special meeting Monday morning to discuss two hot-button issues: Critical Race Theory and Vaccines.

Last week, a handful of parents and non-parent citizens expressed their concerns to the board about textbooks the school district had approved last April. The speakers claimed the books contained teachings of “Critical Race Theory,” an academic field that looks at how race factors into history, systems, institutions and economics.

Apparently spurred by a passage that is no longer on the book publisher’s website, people thought Critical Race Theory (CRT) was also part of the textbook itself. The school district says the books do not contain this teaching or references to the theory.

To address concerns, the board and district released a statementsaying, "the School Board and the Superintendent do not support the teaching of Critical Race Theory in its classrooms, and CRT is not and will not be part of the District curriculum and teaching and learning framework."

The statement goes on to say, "the District does not and will not permit any ideology to drive instruction whether it be by CRT, Marxism, Fascism, or any system of ideas whose nature and content will distort... student learning; American and World History; literature, character development, civics, and so on."

The books in question do not contain anything about CRT, according to the school district. While the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt does have books on the subject, school district officials say it is not part of the books they approved for use last April.

On the topic of COVID-19 vaccines, the Collier Collier School Board says it will not require COVID-19 vaccinations saying, "it is the decision of the parents whether to vaccinate their children."