VERO BEACH, Fla. — A debate over just what children will be taught come fall in Indian River County schools took center stage Tuesday night.
"Our children do not need to use racism to teach racism," said one resident.
Several parents and residents made their voices heard as to which curriculum they want to be used for K-5 students.
"There is no longer time to ignore the history of our country, nor is there time to waste debating whether systemic racism is real," said another resident.
Many voiced their concerns that concepts of critical race theory could be included in the classroom.
CRT is a topic that's dominated much of the national discussion on race in recent weeks.
Much of it has centered on when or how students should learn about race and racism in America.
Earlier this month, state education leaders adopted a rule banning CRT from public schools.
"We cannot teach critical race theory and we are not teaching critical race theory," said Richard Myhre, assistant superintendent of curriculum instruction. "We have no intent to include that."
District officials in Indian River County said both plans they're considering, Amplify and HMH, fall within state requirements.
"You won't find those comments, but you're going to find those concepts," said one parent.
Adding to the pressure, district officials said they need a final decision before next fall when students return to the classroom.
"We're at the point now that we need to order materials, because there is legislative intent for us to implement these in our classrooms in August," said Myhre.
"I'm just a person who fights for justice," said one parent. "The accusation that we have some sort of hidden agenda to institute communism into our school district, it's completely false."