Chelsea Community Forum Notes, 10-9-21
From the Chelsea Community Forum
About 12 people attended the Chelsea Community Forum (CCF) which met via Zoom on October 9.
The previously scheduled unscripted dialogue with mayoral and city council candidates had been called off after three of the candidates opted out. Nonetheless, several candidates (Steven Wright, Tony Iannelli and William Ruddock) joined the meeting and had the opportunity to introduce themselves and share a few words on the reasons for their candidacy for city council.
The group offered topics for discussion and spent the entire forum discussing (1) the civility and nature of discourse in Chelsea and (2) school curricula. The forum has been registered and the Zoom video link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/LplhcgQf-f35PfhVm3LFFbwgaotjWnGvwC8G0e7iqgneOx36_a9T51pz2KXT4gnH.4r3_mVPRGiVz
Access code: mHW% 1yBG
This included a discussion of a van depicting graphic abortion images parked in Chelsea, at or near schools, and visible to school-aged children. Talking points focused on First Amendment rights, with abortion not being a black and white issue, the importance that all groups share the same set of facts, and the ability for parents to discuss / educate their children on controversial topics and ways to convey these topics to the general public.
The discussion then drifted into the school’s curriculum, specifically Critical Race Theory or CRT. Some have expressed concern that CRT is taught in our public schools and that it is organized on the basis of oppressor and victim, causing white children to be labeled or perceive themselves as oppressors or victims. racist. It was noted that CRT is not taught in local public schools.
Some have reported that the intricacies of CRT are not well understood and that its meaning is blurred by Christopher Rufo, an American activist, senior researcher at Manhattan Institute and opponent of CRT. On March 13, 2021, he tweeted:
“We have been successful in freezing their brand – ‘Critical Race Theory’ – in public conversation and regularly reinforce negative perceptions. We’ll end up making it toxic, because we put all the different cultural follies into that brand category. “
A few participants expressed frustration with obtaining information about the district school curriculum without resorting to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). They believed that the district’s use of FOIA had not created confidence in the public school curriculum.
The next Chelsea Community Forum is scheduled for November 13 at 9 a.m. This meeting and discussion will be held in conjunction with Civility Month and Rod Anderson will provide a brief description of the book “The Right Mind, Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt.
The CCF is open to anyone interested in the affairs of the Chelsea School District area and meets on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 9:00 a.m., currently on Zoom. The meeting link is on the Forum website: https://sites.google.com/site/chelseamiforum/home and is announced in the Chelsea Update newsletter.