Wineke: Bashing schools will wreck Wisconsin

Empty classroom desks

So, I’m minding my own business watching television when Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Nicholson appears on the screen promising to abolish the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Wisconsin schools.

That should be an easy promise to fulfill since I’d be astonished if there was even one Wisconsin public school teaching Critical Race Theory.

But, ever since a Republican became governor in Virginia after promising to cleanse the schools of CRT, protecting students from the boogyman of anti-White indoctrination has become a centerpiece of GOP campaign spiels.

I’m not even sure that I understand what CRT is, but I think it includes the concept that racism pervades every sector of our society.

I’m quite sure there isn’t an elementary teacher in the state who would try to inculcate that theory into a kid.

It’s not that CRT has no merit. CRT has a lot of merit. It’s just that teachers have enough challenges in helping kids be kind to one another and in learning the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic to want to add a controversial theoretical concept that is almost guaranteed to bring on parent controversy.

Nicholson, of course, does not care about either teachers or kids in his advertising. I have no way of knowing what his personal beliefs are, but, politically, preying on White fear has proved to be a winner for Republicans.

The problem is that it hurts our kids.

All this fabricated controversy over our schools provides yet another reason for the next generation to avoid becoming teachers.

It’s not just CRT. Florida just made it legal for parents to sue schools if teachers engage in discussing human sexuality in an age-inappropriate manner, whatever that means.

The fear seems to be that a school might accept as appropriate the idea that Bobby has two mommies rather than a mom and a dad. Yet, kids do have two mommies or two daddies. That’s not just because same-sex marriage is now legal. It’s also because heterosexual couples divorce and remarry.

The presumed issues vary from place to place. If opposing CRT doesn’t scare people, how about opposing transgender athletes, or coed restrooms?

You have to kind of wonder just what kinds of fears lurk in the lurid imaginations of these lawmakers.

I’m sure the kids will survive all this. I’m not so sure about the teachers.