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Bedford County Schools say critical race theory is not part of Virginia’s updated curriculum

Board members discussed the idea of what they call ‘culturally responsive teaching’

Local school board meetings across the Commonwealth are discussing hot-button issues like critical race theory.
Local school board meetings across the Commonwealth are discussing hot-button issues like critical race theory.

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Bedford County School Board members met Thursday night to discuss a hot-button issue within Virginia schools.

School leaders say lessons known as critical race theory are not a part of Virginia’s updated curriculum.

“Critical race theory is not an academic curriculum, and it is not being taught through any of the updated, Virginia history SOLs,” said Dr. Karen Woodford, chief learning officer for Bedford County Public Schools.

Rather, board members discussed the idea of what they call “culturally responsive teaching” during the meeting.

“Culturally responsive teaching, CRT, attempts to bridge the gap between teachers and students, by helping the teacher understand the cultural nuances that shape a student,” said Woodford.

They say the new curriculum for this upcoming school year will be implemented for grades K through 12 by the Department of Education.

For example, kindergarteners will recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, and second graders will learn that Martin Luther King Jr. “advocated.” not “worked” for social justice.

There’s also an African American history course being offered to high school students as an elective. Woodford said the course would not be required in order for students to graduate.

Teachers will be required to attend training and undergo new evaluations to have a better understanding of diversity in the classroom.


About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.