A teacher in Iowa explained how she evades her state’s ban on critical race theory in school by tempting her students to ask questions about issues she can’t teach.
The teacher, Petra Lange, works at a high school and is also an adjunct professor at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. She said she is “a secondary educator at a predominantly white high school in a suburban district”.
Lange was speaking in an online forum called “UnBan Anti-Racism Education In Iowa” when she detailed how she manages to get around the law.
She explained that she would say “We need to take a look at HF-802” and showed her students the state law. Lange told her students she was not allowed to teach certain topics to them but she could answer questions that they had.
Lange recounted telling her students “I need to just let you know there are now concepts that are illegal for me to teach you about, according to the state of Iowa”. One of her courses is called Gender And Race Culture.
My courses are inquiry-based which means I do my best to put students’ questions at the center of the curriculum and then work to answer those questions.
Lange explained that she “had to work around HF-802 in really interesting ways”.
In the same forum, an activist encouraged educators to use George Floyd’s birthday on Oct. 14 as “a day of civil disobedience” where they teach CRT despite the state ban.