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Waterloo educators protest law that limits teaching some race-related concepts

More than 50 educators and activists protesting in Waterloo yesterday over Gov. Kim Reynolds signing a law banning critical race theory.
Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 11:50 AM CDT
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - Over 50 people in downtown Waterloo, including current and former teachers, protested a bill that Gov. Kim Reynolds signed banning 10 so-called divisive concepts from being taught in schools.

“Students won’t learn the real history of what this country has endured,” Schnique Rembert, a former teacher at East High School in Waterloo, said. “It would sugarcoat reality.”

The banned trainings would include teaching that one race or sex is superior to another, and that the United States and Iowa are systemically racist. Taking these lessons away from teachers, they felt would limit how they tell history in one of the most diverse school districts in the state.

“Students wouldn’t be able to have a full understanding of what this world entails besides what they see on TV,” Rembert said.

“Teaching the truth is OK,” Denny McCabe, the event’s organizer and former educator, said.

McCabe taught history at Hoover Middle School in Waterloo for more than 30 years. Teaching race was always part of his learning curriculum.

“You can teach this subject without indoctrinating people and making them feel guilty,” McCabe said. “The right teacher with the right motivation can present the information without dumping guilt on a 13-year-old.”

Reynolds said this after signing the bill: “Critical Race Theory is about labels and stereotypes, not education. It teaches kids that we should judge others based on race, gender, or sexual identity, rather than the content of someone’s character. I am proud to have worked with the legislature to promote learning, not discriminatory indoctrination.”

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