The ongoing debate surrounding Critical Race Theory, CRT for short, has only driven us further apart when it comes to those in favor of educating the youth on race relations versus those who’d rather keep children “protected” from the history of racism in America.
A Maryland educator who was offered a DEI teaching gig in Cherokee County, Georgia, found herself not only ousted by anti-CRT parents before even starting but also was targeted by the same group when she moved on to a similar position in Cobb County.
Cecelia Lewis, a Black educator, was asked to apply for a Georgia school district’s first-ever administrator job devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 16, 2022
Cecelia Lewis, who’s now back in Maryland with another position in education, spoke with ProPublica to give a detailed account of her ordeal at both institutions. Many schools across America have begun developing DEI programs, which stand for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Lewis impressed Cherokee County district leaders so much in her initial interview that she was offered a position directly associated with the DEI initiative. Parents began meeting soon after Lewis’s new hire announcement to express their concerns over her bringing CRT to the Cherokee County School District. Truth In Education founder Rhonda Thomas said in one clubhouse gathering, “[CRT] teaches kids that whites are inherently racist and oppressive, perhaps unconsciously,” adding that it teaches, “all whites are responsible for all historical actions” and “should feel guilty.” Thomas followed up by stating, “I cannot be asked for repentance for something my grandparents did or my ancestors did, right?”
More on the unbelievable ordeal that Lewis had to go through below, via ProPublica:
“Around that same time, according to Lewis, several emails and handwritten letters were showing up at her school in Maryland, calling her a Black Yankee and saying her liberal thinking is unwanted. She saved only one, with typewriting on the envelope. The return address was just ‘A Cherokee County Citizen.’
‘They ultimately just said, you know, ‘We don’t want you here, and we don’t want you to push us to find out what will happen if you come here,’’ Lewis said.
On May 18, 2021, two days after the meeting at the clubhouse, Cherokee County’s schools communications chief and its school board members received the first of approximately 100 form letters that would flood their inboxes over a 48-hour period, demanding that Lewis be fired.
Another parent wrote to a school board member, citing Cherokee County’s recent census statistics: ‘Did you know that 77.8% of the population is considered ‘whtie [sic] alone’ 7.7% are black and 11.1% Hispanic? Are we now in a county that is going to cater to a handful of people?’”
A Cherokee County School Board meeting on May 20, 2021 (seen above) not only almost led to riots but also gave Lewis confirmation that her position was being axed by Cherokee County School Board Superintendent Brian V. Hightower, who said, “While I had initially entertained and publicly spoken to the development of a diversity, equity and inclusivity, DEI plan, I recognize that our intentions have become widely misunderstood in the community and it created division. To that end, I have concluded that there will be no separate DEI plan.”
Once Lewis moved on Cobb County for a position as supervisor of social studies, it was less than a week into the new job before she was contacted by a school district leader over “percolating” complaints out of Cherokee. Four Republican school board members in Cobb even fielded complaints about Lewis being hired. Her introduction during a training meeting with the district’s social studies teachers went from being a multi-slide presentation to her being instructed to simply “sit in the back and flip the slides for the presenter” with no introduction at all. By the end of August, she’d submitted her two-weeks notice.
Read the full report over on ProPublica for an in-depth look into the CRT plight of Cecelia Lewis, which is an eye-opening situation, to say the least. Watch a preview of her critique on the experience below: