ND School Superintendent Rails Against Critical Race Theory, Says Schools Should Teach “Christian Heritage”

A North Dakota school district superintendent claimed in an email that calls to address racial injustice are a “political ideology” and called for a “Christ centered Republic.”

The email was sent to a North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders-run listserv by Starkweather Public School District Superintendent Larry Volk, who said it is  “time to move away from godless corrupt woke, left-wing ideology and back to the devout Christ centered Republic the founders envisioned.”

“Racial injustice has been pushed by a political ideology — not a race of people. There is no systemic racism in America created by our Founding Fathers — the racism is the project of the godless Democrat party that has rejected god, family, faith and America and embraced secularism in the form of Marxism,” Volk said in his email. “My district will continue to teach the Christian heritage and origins of the American Republic focusing on primary source documents from the founding era.”

Volk also railed against critical race theory, which right-wingers have turned into a boogeyman; indeed, fears about critical race theory being taught in public schools helped galvanize Republican voters in a recent election in Virginia that catapulted GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin to the governorship.

In his email Volk said that critical race theory “will never be taught in our district. We will not teach institutionalized bigotry promoted by the left.”

Critical race theory is a body of legal and academic scholarship that aims to examine how racism and disparate racial outcomes have shaped public policy via often implicit social and institutional dynamics. It is taught in colleges. School-age children are not learning it. However, there have been calls to teach children a more honest and inclusive history that more adequately repositions the consequences and legacy of slavery as elements vital to the historical narrative.

Volk later defended his email in remarks to The Hill, saying, “My goal is simply to teach as accurately as I can — the History of our Founding Fathers, using their own words, our founding Documents and to up lift the American experience.”

His remarks are emblematic of an ongoing push by the far right to energize conservative voters, particularly during school board elections, which have been cast as crucial to preserving the country’s sense of identity, a suggestion that many critics have said is rooted in disinformation and racism.