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Critical race theory in Canadian schools

Samuel Sey
Courtesy of Samuel Sey

Many Canadians believe critical race theory isn’t prevalent in Canada. They’re convinced critical race theory is just an American issue.

But they’re wrong. Critical race theory is just as prevalent in Canada as it is in America. Actually, it’s probably more acceptable in Canada than it is in America.

Overwhelming opposition from American parents at school board meetings has made critical race theory the biggest topic in America today. As of right now, at least 27 states have passed (or introduced) bills that prevent public schools from forcing teachers and students to embrace critical race theory as truth.

Though Democrats, mainstream media, and academia claim critical race theory isn’t a major fabric of public school curriculums in America—over 5,000 American educators have signed a petition to violate the bills.

In Canada, however—educators do not need to sign petitions. It’s not controversial to teach critical race theory in schools. Critical race theory has become a cornerstone of our curriculums, and it hasn’t prompted any significant opposition.

Earlier this year, a supposedly Christian university in Canada denounced me after I refuted the critical race theory concept of “systemic racism” in a talk at their school. Around the same time, one of the prominent Baptist denominations in Canada published an article titled, “Why ‘Critical Race Theory’ Should Be Critical for Every Church ”.

Many Christians across Canada have emailed me to seek my help over the influence of critical race theory in their churches, Christian organizations, and Christian schools.

If this surprises you, consider that Canada’s federal and provincial governments are significantly more committed to critical race theory than their American counterparts. Canada’s federal government established an “Anti-Racism Strategy”, and one of its aims is to make white Canadians more accepting of the concept of “systemic racism.”

Already, 54% of Canadians believe Canada is systemically racist. That data is identical to polls about systemic racism in America.

Since critical race theory has become influential in Christian schools, churches, and all Canadian society—why wouldn’t it be especially more prevalent in Canadian public schools?

I’ve received documents from teachers and parents concerning critical race theory in Canadian schools, particularly—evidence of critical race theory within the curriculum at my local school board: Peel District School Board.

This evidence includes internal documents from staff meetings, lesson plans, and screenshots from presentations at parent-teacher meetings. All of these documents are available at the bottom of this article. 

Peel District School Board has added courses to its curriculum that replace that “challenge dominant colonial narratives and promote student’s epistemologies in education from kindergarten to Grade 12.”

Though many people remain in denial over the prevalence of critical race theory in schools, a presentation from Peel District school board explicitly says some of these courses “explore contemporary Black culture in Canada, through the lens of Critical Race Theory.“

Like many school boards across Canada, Peel District school board is unapologetically attempting to indoctrinate students from kindergarten through high school with critical race theory. 

One document reveals that Peel teachers are encouraged to read Ibram Kendi’s Antiracist Baby to kindergarten children. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s a kids' version of Kendi’s How To Be An Antiracist. And it reads:

“Antiracist Baby is bred, not born. Antiracist Baby is raised to make society transform. Babies are taught to be racist or antiracist—there’s no neutrality. Take these nine steps to make equity a reality…confess when being racist. Grow to be an antiracist.”

Children in schools are being compelled to repeat those words. 

Documents from staff meetings and lesson plans reveal that Peel teachers are instructed to use other critical race theorists like Kimberlé Crenshaw, Dena Simmons, and Peggy McIntosh as resources for advocating “anti-racism” to children. 

One video from Colleen Russell-Rawlins—director of education at Peel District school board—at a staff meeting says, “in order to be antiracist, we must challenge ideas of colorblindness or race neutrality. As director, I’m asking us all to commit to center the lived experiences and intersectional identities of students, including race, religion, gender, ability, and sexuality.” 

Therefore, lesson plans instruct teachers to explicitly “nurture” shifts in “attitudes and beliefs for equity”. Meaning, children are being indoctrinated to accept the critical race theory concepts of systemic racism, white privilege, intersectionality, power, allyship, and more. 

For instance, lesson plans for students between grades 1 and 3 use this image to advocate for the critical race theory or Marxist concepts of equity and liberation. Moreover, the lesson plans encouraged these children—aged between 7 to 9 year olds—to believe “race is an important part of our identity”.  And teachers are also instructed to tell the young students that “becoming an ally [with non-white people] involves acknowledging your own privilege and taking action towards social justice.”

One teacher emailed me saying she overheard some of her colleagues saying: “If you are white, you are a white supremacist!” Another teacher said to me, since the addition of critical race theory, little children who didn’t formerly make distinctions between white people and non-white people at schools are now doing so. They now believe, as the curriculum instructed them to, “race is an important part of their identity.” 

So though many people—especially Canadians—remain in denial over the prevalence of critical race theory in schools, many public educators are committed to indoctrinating your children into accepting critical race theory.

Children cannot oppose them, but you and I can. That’s why I’m in the middle of producing a curriculum on critical race theory for you and your children. American parents are successfully pushing back against critical race theory in American schools, we should start doing the same.


 Originally published at Slowtowrite.

Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

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