VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Critical race theory - it's a controversial and confusing topic among politicians and parents in Virginia Beach.
School board leaders met Tuesday night, where they voted on a resolution related to this topic, which Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence says is currently not being taught across the Virginia Beach City Public Schools district.
Board members voted 4-7 against the resolution.
The resolution would have banned any public school entity from training, teaching or promoting that any race is inherently superior or inferior to another race. It would have also banned promoting that a person's moral character or worth is determined by their skin color and that capitalism is racist.
We took our questions on critical race theory to News 3’s political expert, Dr. Eric Claville of Norfolk State University, and this is how he explains it:
In its simplest form, critical race theory says society was structured through its laws and public policies to favor one group over another.
Claville added it's not saying a person is racist.
Students spoke out before the meeting, saying critical race theory is important to have in schools.
“My whole academic career, I’ve been taught lies about my people and how my people were treated in this country. Future generations of students that deserve to learn the truth about the history of their America,” said Gianna, a junior at Tallwood High School.
Meanwhile, parents rallied outside, saying the resolution is important - clarifying what critical race theory is - and ensuring it will not be taught.
“This is just really a resolution to make sure that there’s transparency, we’re on the same page, and that we’re moving in a unified direction… as a school district with parents and administration,” added parent Becky Hay.
Both Spence and the president of the Virginia Beach Education Association have previously said critical race theory is not being taught in the district.
School board members say they do plan to revisit a resolution focused on equity in schools in two weeks.