The rest of the story: Important information was missing from the reporting of our task force meeting

I get concerned when an important news story is misleading.

A case in point is the Aug. 26 report in this newsletter entitled, “Indoctrination task force calls on Legislature to make slew of changes.”

The report was on the fourth meeting of Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s education task force, of which I am a member, and on citizen input during a four-hour segment of public testimony at the event in the Capitol.

The story left out the most compelling testimony of the meeting, the declaration from the only black person to weigh in, Kayla Dunn, who opposed critical race theory and spoke eloquently about her reasons why.

While the article included her picture, the reporter provided no mention of what she said. Dunn’s expression in the photo could lead some to believe she is in favor of CRT and against the task force.

The news report also omitted other thoughtful testimonies opposed to CRT and supportive of the task force.

To set the record straight, here are highlights of Dunn’s testimony:

“I am here to let everyone know, especially those who are perpetuating the lie that I am oppressed, that I can speak for myself. I can walk. I can talk. I can read. I can swim.

“…I also want to let everyone know that…blacks can…become Supreme Court justices…lead armies… break Olympic world records…become NASA mathematicians, and…become the president of the United States for two terms.

“…we are not oppressed.

“We can do all of this because we live in an incredible country, America, that offers limitless possibilities for all people who are willing to dream and work hard.

“That is why I love this country, and that is why I oppose critical race theory and anything that resembles it.

“Telling black people they are inferior by suggesting they are oppressed simply because of their skin color…is discrimination and racist.

“…my children said they did not want to attend any school teaching CRT.

“…imagine how awkward that first day would be when a black child walks into a school that’s teaching CRT, and they don’t know if their relationships are authentic or out of pure pity.

“[I thought] after we elected a black president – not once, but twice – that people of color would collectively say we made it. Well, that didn’t work.

“…CRT is the new Jim Crow, a new form of segregation, and my family will not stand for it.

“They don’t want us to be free, they want us to take their pity. They want us to take their welfare. They want us to continue to pick their cotton – but not on my watch.

“Anyone who supports CRT is an enemy to all people.”

Kayla recommended more books in school reading centers like, “Reaching for the Moon,” an autobiography of the [black] NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson,” who helped send astronauts into space, instead of books like, “The Hate You Give,” a book about racial injustice.

The Idaho Education News report also omitted testimony from other opponents of CRT.

Psychologist Lynn Laird, for example, said she has seen children emotionally abused by CRT. She said emphasis on training educators in social emotional learning (SEL) and practicing it in the classroom leads children to feel inferior when taught they are racist. SEL is her main concern since it is tied to CRT.

Former educator Amy Henry handed out a packet to each task force member containing evidence of how CRT is taught through SEL in our public schools.

Henry also presented evidence from emails showing a lack of transparency concerning curriculum. She recommended legislation removing all CRT and its undertones from K-12 instruction and said to be leery of federal money with strings attached such as requiring training in or teaching of CRT tenets.

Testimonies in favor of CRT denied there was any evidence of CRT in Idaho and said task force members want to return “to the 1800s,” removing the teaching of race from history thereby destroying freedom of speech.

In its deliberations the past few months, however, task force members clearly stated the need to teach the evils of slavery and discrimination – but in proper balance with the rest of U.S. history. They believe understanding American ideals and accomplishments as well as its mistakes is central to a sound understanding of the country’s true and important history.

Previous task force meetings also included parents and educators providing evidence of CRT and its undertones in Idaho public schools.

In summary, the Idaho Education News report was unbalanced because it conspicuously omitted testimony from a black woman opposed to CRT and omitted testimonies of others opposed to the ideology.

In fairness, the report did include a testimony from Idaho Sen. Steven Thayn, who said CRT is “a threat to our system of limited government.”

The reporter also failed to point out there were many, not “some,” testimonies presented against CRT. This suggests prejudice against those opposed to CRT.

Idaho Education News says its goal is to be “seekers of the truth” and “demand transparency in government.” But you can’t find truth and transparency without balanced reporting.

Now you know the rest of the story.

About Elaine K. King

Elaine King has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, at Davis, and a master’s degree in education from San Francisco State University. She retired as an elementary school teacher in Utah and has lived in Idaho 33 years, where she has been a private tutor and an organizer of the Sugar-Salem School District’s first parent advisory committee. Mrs. King currently is president of the Madison County Republican Women’s Club.

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