A Pennsylvania school board president is being called to resign after he cut off an Iranian mother speaking out against CRT during a meeting and had her escorted out.
Iranian immigrant and mother of three Anita Edgarian expressed concerns to Chester School District board members about Critical Race Theory curriculum on July 26.
She was recorded at the meeting telling board President Chris McCune that she grew up during the Iranian revolution when Iran was ‘ravaged by communism’. Sitting through a meeting where the board is split into groups – for and against CRT – is a ‘complete nightmare’, she said.
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Anita Edgarian expressed concerns to board members at Chester School District regarding the controversial Critical Race Theory curriculum during a meeting on July 26
As Edgarian yells into the microphone, McCune stands up, approaches the podium, and takes the mic from Edgarian, telling her to go
‘I send my kids to study mathematics, literature and history, and I want them to study every kind of history,’ she says.
Edgarian has a son in high school and twin girls in eighth grade.
Critical race theory is an educational concept that claims racism is a social construct that has been embedded in American legal systems and policies.
During the meeting, Edgarian says her house is known as the ‘International House of Pancakes’ because her kids’ diverse group of friends are all welcome there.
On the recording of the meeting, she compliments retiring superintendent Jim Scanlon, telling him, ‘you did a good job for 12 years,’ but then says, ‘you are leaving a mess, you have brought division to us.’
That comment is met with a round of applause from some parents in the audience.
But before she can continue, she is cut off by McCune and told, ‘Anita, you’re at time.’
Edgarian objects, repeating ‘no, no,’ but McCune responds, ‘Yes, you are.’
As Edgarian yells into the microphone, McCune stands up, approaches the podium, and takes the mic from Edgarian, telling her to go.
‘This is shameful,’ McCune says as he returns to the stage. ‘We’ve had a respectful meeting up until you. You bombarded up there, and now you want to monopolize the meeting. Not happening. You’re gone.’
Officers come to escort her from the building as she continues to shout at board members on stage.
‘Why did you say you cannot teach history without CRT?’ she is heard yelling before an officer removes her from the auditorium.
Anita Edgarian (right) told Fox and Friends host Kayleigh McEnany (left) that she thinks the school board president reacted the way he did because he did not like that she dared question the board
The Republican Committee of Chester County is calling for school board president Chris McCune’s (pictured) resignation
This is not the first time a school board has erupted over CRT, as the curriculum has become a hot topic.
It sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year. Supporters say it is vital to eliminate racism in America and opponents claim it actually promotes racism by categorizing people.
In response to Edgarian being cut off and escorted out, the Republican Committee of Chester County called for McCune’s resignation.
In a statement, the committee called his actions ‘reprehensible’ and acknowledged that while Edgarian did speak over her allotted 2 minutes, so did other speakers that evening.
The committee condemned McCune for approaching the mother of three and shouting at her, and said McCune was ‘unable to control his anger’ and acted like a bully.
‘Since when do policemen haul off parents for exercising their 1st Amendment right of free speech?’ the committee asked in its letter. ‘Shouldn’t she be allowed to return to her seat instead of being turned out of the building?’
DailyMail.com reached out to the West Chester Area School District for comment.
On Wednesday, Edgarian appeared on Fox and Friends and told host Kayleigh McEnany that she thinks the school board president just did not like that she dared question the board.
‘I just don’t think he likes the fact that I was saying, ”Why the division?” she said.
Edgarian added that she just wanted to clarify what her children were going to be taught and get answers.
‘I have friends on both sides of this aisle. Friends and, you know, close friends sometimes,’ she said. ‘And you know, so I don’t want my kids to grow up feeling that they cannot talk to this person or that person. And I just wanted to know and, you know, the best thing is to come out and frankly ask the question.’
Critical race theory: From obscure academic concept to the front lines of America’s ‘culture wars’
Critical race theory (CRT) exploded to prominence in the spring as it started to appear in classrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12, leading to several bans including in Florida and Texas, however it has been taught in higher education for decades.
It is an offshoot of the Marxist ideology Critical Theory, of Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm, which argued that there are power structures which ‘enslave’ the minds of the oppressed in society.
CRT teaches that racism is not the result of nature or biology but that it is a social construct, an idea invented to exploit and control minorities.
It argues racism is a structural problem in the United States, particularly towards black people, embedded in its institutions, legal system and even the Constitution.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.