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A school board in a conservative county in Missouri has revoked several resolutions, including a resolution designed to "promote racial healing, especially for our Black and brown students and families."
On Thursday, the Francis Howell School District Board of Education in St. Charles County, Missouri, along the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis, voted to rescind several resolutions automatically. However, the resolution that has drawn the most attention is the one passed in 2020 shortly after the death of George Floyd.
Though the "Resolution in response to racism and discrimination" denounces "racism, discrimination, and senseless violence" in all forms, it repeatedly suggests that "Black and brown" people are often the main victims of racism. "We will promote racial healing, especially for our Black and brown students and families. We will no longer be silent," it says. It also claims that "Black and brown students and families" may face unique "challenges" in the pursuit of "an equitable and anti-racist system that honors and elevates all."
The official reason given for ending these resolutions is the fact that most current board members never signed or voted to adopt them. Many of the members were elected in April 2022 and 2023 after a strong push from a conservative organization called Francis Howell Families, which aims to recruit school board candidates who support teaching students "our Nation’s founding principles" and who reject "attempts to divide people by race, gender, or other immutable characteristics or to teach that those characteristics determine their destiny."
In 2021, FHF referred to the resolution as an example of "woke activism."
Current board members, some of whom received strong support from FHF, expressed misgivings about the supposedly anti-racism resolution. Randy Cook, the vice president of the board, argued that several terms used in the resolution, including "systemic racism," were never clearly defined.
His colleague Jane Puszkar indicated that the resolution had been ineffective. "What has it really done?" she asked. "How effective has it really been?"
On Thursday, FHSB members ultimately determined that "resolutions are a reflection on a moment in time" and that resolutions passed in previous years under different leadership will no longer "be used as a rationale for decisions within the District."
St. Charles County is a strongly conservative area. Its state senator, state representative, and U.S. representative are all Republican, and the county voted overwhelmingly for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. The state of Missouri likewise voted for Trump in 2020, nearly 57% to 41%.
However, despite the conservative sensibilities of the area, several critics attended the recent FHSB meeting to support the anti-racism resolution, carrying signs that begged members to move "forward, not backward."
"It is absolutely going backwards especially when you have a constant reporting of discriminatory things that are continuing to go on," said Zebrina Looney of the NAACP. "It’s not acknowledging the students and what they’ve gone through. Personally, I grew up out here and to me this feels like a flashback in time, like a bad dream."
Chad Lange, one of just two members who were on the board when the resolution passed three years ago, said he felt uneasy about sunsetting it. Making it "disappear like it never existed without discussion doesn’t sit well with me," Lange said.
Since passing, the resolution has been on display in district schools. Now that the resolution has been revoked, those displays will be taken down, and the resolution will also no longer appear in any district publications.
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Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.