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walk to class at Kansas State University on Sept. 22, 2016.
Scholars, meanwhile, say the practice has been used for decades and merely probes the ways in which racism has become embedded in societal and cultural structures.
Kansas became the latest flashpoint for this debate Thursday, when social media posts showed leaked emails where a Pittsburg State administrator requested information on whether critical race theory was being used in the university’s classes.
More: What we know about the critical race theory controversy, impact on education
The request apparently came from Sen. Brenda Dietrich, R-Topeka, who said she was merely reaching out to better understand the complexities of the issue given the national debate and a flurry of questions from her constituents.
Dietrich said she called Board of Regents President Blaine Flanders for information on whether CRT was being taught at the universities, with the Board of Regents then reaching out to the individual schools to gain greater clarity.
“The Board office did not have the information Senator Dietrich requested, so we reached out to the six state universities to gather the information to respond,” Matt Keith, a spokesperson for the Board of Regents, said in an email.
Dietrich, who previously served as superintendent of Auburn Washburn Unified School District 437, noted she also talked about the issue with Commissioner of Education Randy Watson.
She added the move wasn’t part of any efforts to draft legislation on the subject.
“If I had a question about unemployment, I go to the Department of Labor. … It’s just one of those things where as a legislator, if I don’t know the answer, I’ve got to find somebody who does so that I make sure I’m answering my constituents questions accurately and thoroughly,” Dietrich said.
What is critical race theory?