CRT recommended as discussion topic for Lansing school board

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The superintendent of Lansing public schools said he and the district's school board president will decide whether to include critical race theory as a discussion topic for a future board meeting.

The issue of critical race theory came up Monday at the conclusion of a meeting of the Lansing Board of Education. Board member Pete Robinson suggested the board should talk about critical race theory.

The Associated Press reports that critical race theory "centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society."

Critical race theory has become an issue in the campaigns of some candidates for the Lansing Board of Education who say they are opposed to the theory being taught in schools.

Lansing school board member Cheryl Runnebaum acknowledged the issue is a topic for some candidates but questioned the need for the school board to discuss it.

"I just don't see it as at our doorstep right now," she said.

Runnebaum, who was appointed in 2020 to her position on the board, is running this year to serve out the remainder of an unexpired term.

Superintendent Dan Wessel said he will confer with board President Aaron Yoakam about whether to place critical race theory on the agenda for the school board's meeting in August.

"The president and myself set that agenda together," he said.

Yoakam was appointed to the position of president during Monday's meeting.

The board votes to appoint one of its members to the position of president each year. Yoakam succeeds John Dalbey Sr. as the board president.

Board members also voted Monday to appoint Michelle McQuillan to the position of vice president. She succeeds John Hattok as vice president.

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