Critical Race Theory debate causes division among Guilford voters

New Haven

GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The town of Guilford saw a big turnout in the race for the Board of Education elections.

This election has gotten national attention because of the debate over Critical Race Theory (CRT).

It became a hot topic for the schools here when they spent money on copies of a controversial book about CRT.

Critical Race Theory teaches that after slavery ends, there is still racism in America, sometimes even subtle racism.

One side says that thinking divides the country, and the other side says that explains a lot about the country, especially about places that are not affluent white suburbs.

As of 9:30 p.m., Democrats won the Board of Education by a two-to-one margin. They say they will continue to teach diversity and equity, and not teach CRT.

“I want my child to learn the truth, even if it is not pleasant for him. I want him to know the history and be able to learn from it and not repeat it,” said Eric Haskell of Guilford.

But there are different versions of history. CRT has now become a deeply partisan political issue. The five Republicans on the ballot today all won their primaries on an anti-CRT platform.

This controversial issue brought out 60% of voters last night. And no matter what side of the political aisle, each voter had their say about the issue of CTR.

“Thinking about the students and the idea of what’s the best education for them and also looking at, moving forward, having them have a worldly perspective on things,” said Lou Monaco of Guilford.

News 8 talked with the chair of the school board, Katie Balestracci, to find out exactly how the district plans to approach this moving forward. Balestracci says it’s not about critical race thinking, it’s more equity and diversity.

“…and they are interested in having an educational system that teaches their kids an expansive look at history and prepares them for a diverse generation that they are a part of in this country, and global community,” said Balestracci.

“What’s really important to me is to remove the politics of education and give an open and honest view of what’s going on so children can be informed and think,” said Peter Charland of Guilford.

Stay tuned to WTNH on-air, online, and on the News 8 app for more coverage of this race throughout the day.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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