Maine father fights critical race theory in daughters' school: 'We need education, not indoctrination'
'I got pushed and I pushed back,' Shawn McBreairty says
Shawn McBreairty, a parent of twin girls in Maine who has clashed with school officials for the last year over their district’s curriculum, said he was banned from their graduation over objections to critical race theory (CRT) being taught in their school, telling "The Faulkner Focus" on Tuesday that "we need education, not indoctrination."
McBreairty said his daughters are enrolled in MSAD #51, which serves the communities of Cumberland and North Yarmouth, and communicated with school officials only through email as, he said, they would not meet with him regarding his concerns.
"I can’t speak for Martin Luther King Jr., but I think he’d be extremely ashamed of what this administration is doing," McBreairty said. "They’re teaching young kids as young as kindergarten to essentially hate their white skin."
"And frankly I was brought up as the content of your character is the biggest piece, it doesn’t matter what the color of your skin is," he added.
McBreairty told host Harris Faulkner on Tuesday that he has been pushing back against his daughters' school district for allegedly sending the community "an equity letter" following the murder of George Floyd, which he said "basically called us all white supremacists in Cumberland, North Yarmouth." He noted that he came across the letter almost exactly one year ago and called the past year one of "frustration."
"We call for justice for George Floyd and for the many other Black lives that have been taken by white supremacy in our nation," the Press Herald reported the letter from the equity leadership steering committee said. "It is our duty to educate ourselves and dismantle the violent and oppressive structures which have kept us divided."
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McBreairty told Faulkner he responded in a letter to the superintendent sounding off on the language used in the community message.
"The woke mob, the trolls, they go after everybody," he said. "I got pushed and I pushed back pretty hard."
McBreairty, reportedly has a criminal trespass order against him, which prohibits him from entering or remaining on the property of all schools and properties in the school district unless he has permission from the superintendent.
"MSAD #51 does not use CRT in its schools," Superintendent of Schools Jeff Porter told Fox News in a statement. "We do not teach white children to hate the color of their skin. To the contrary, we teach all of our students the importance of self-worth and acceptance of self and others."
"We believe that all children are gifts," Porter continued. "The narrative that this parent has created is simply untrue and an unfortunate connection to the undercurrent of national political ideology that is not illustrative of our high-performing and well-regarded school district."
The Press Herald reported Porter said McBreairty was never banned from attending graduation, just from being on campus and could request to attend school events on a case-by-case basis.
McBreairty asked to attend graduation and Porter granted approval last week, the outlet reported, citing a statement issued by district officials Thursday night. Porter reportedly also told the outlet that district officials "don’t want him to be disruptive at his kids’ graduation."
The Press Herald reported that Porter said the criminal trespass order was issued after McBreairty repeatedly violated district rules and after several warnings about padlocking a sign to a school fence. He added that McBreairty had disrupted several school board meetings and had distributed flyers on the students’ desks without permission, according to the outlet.
New York City parent Andrew Guttmann has issued similar warnings about CRT, predicting it "is going to destroy our country" if it's not reversed.
CRT has sparked a national conversation about the role of race and racism in school districts across the country. Often compared by critics to actual racism, CRT is a school of thought that generally focuses on how power structures and institutions impact racial minorities.
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McBreairty told Faulkner on Tuesday that "we’re trying to rally parents across the country to fight all of this CRT that’s going on."
Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.