Exclusive: Parents’ Rights Group Files Lawsuit for Access to S.C. Schools’ Teacher Training Manuals 

classroom
Getty/Will & Deni McIntyre

U.S. Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) has filed a lawsuit against a school district in South Carolina after efforts to obtain teacher training manuals from the schools were rejected by officials.

Sheri Few, president of USPIE who lives in Kershaw County, South Carolina, is plaintiff in the case, which accuses the schools of violating the Freedom of Information Act that allows the public access to public information.

“All school districts in South Carolina say they are not teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT), but 12 of the 12 school districts I have researched are in fact implementing it in some form or fashion,” Few told Breitbart News. “In the town where I live, the local superintendent said in a public forum that they were not teaching CRT in Kershaw County School District, but they were training their teachers in Culturally Relevant Teaching.” 

“During the Q&A, I asked the Superintendent for the training materials, and he agreed to give them to me for review,” Few said. “When I emailed him for the materials, he said I needed to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) them and when I FOIAed them, they said they couldn’t release the slides from the training because they were proprietary.”

Sheri Few at a Stop Fed Ed campaign event in Elgin, South Carolina. (Facebook/Sheri Few)

Sheri Few at a Stop Fed Ed campaign event in Elgin, South Carolina. (Facebook/Sheri Few)

“I have since sued them for violating the law by withholding public records,” Few said. “Culturally Relevant Teaching encompasses several critical theories that are Marxist in their roots — Critical Race Theory, Critical Queer Theory, Critical Feminist Theory.”

The lawsuit says, in part:

The Plaintiff, on July 31, 2021, in conformity with the method supplied to her by the Kershaw County Superintendent, submitted an emailed FOIA request to KCSD (the Defendant) in which she requested numerous things including the “Culturally Responsive Teaching and training materials implemented with KCSD teachers.” 

In addition, the Plaintiff requested documents related to the new African American studies Committee, and the contract between the District and Dr. Gloria Boutte, who Plaintiff had been told by District employees assisted in the course development.

On August 12, 2021, the District initially indicated that “No Culturally Responsive Teaching training has been held for teachers.” KCSD did however, provide certain estimates and invoices from Dr. Gloria Boutte, including invoices for a new course and related to a presentation on Culturally Relevant Pedagogy from July 2021.

On September 10, 2021 the Plaintiff made another series of FOIA requests related to five invoices received for Professional Development training dated May 4, 2021 and for materials related to a May 13, 2021 invoice for “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” as referenced in that invoice. 

The FOIA requests asked KCSD to 1) “include materials implemented all seven/six days — 3 hours per day plus google classroom with resources including all sign-in sheets, agendas, videos, topic descriptions, guidance, PowerPoint presentations, other instructional materials or links to online resources provided during, and as follow-up to the professional development series.” 

The Plaintiff also requested 2) “training materials implemented with teachers who will teach the new African American Studies course including all sign-in sheets, agendas, videos, topic descriptions, guidance, PowerPoint presentations, other instructional materials or links to online resources provided during, and as follow-up to said training.” The Plaintiff requested 3) “the specific metric for the measurement of a student’s social and emotional status. And if implementing Pearson 360 Assessments, I would like a copy of the actual assessments, details about other services purchased from Pearson 360, and copies of materials purchased from Pearson 360 by the Kershaw County School District.”

Sheri Few speaks at a Common Core event in South Carolina

Sheri Few speaks at a Common Core event in South Carolina. (Facebook/Sheri Few)

“Using teaching methods as the way to inculcate CRT is actually much worse than straightforward instruction in CRT, and that’s bad enough,” Few said in a statement released to the press. According to Few:

Teachers are learning so-called ‘culturally relevant pedagogy’ as a method to teach all subjects. In this way, CRT infiltrates instruction in math, science, and every other academic discipline. The method teaches a way of thinking and feeling that makes our youngest, most innocent school children begin to think like divisive racists for themselves. Parents should insist this summer on access to the teacher training materials used right now to program teachers on how to manipulate their youngest pupils into absorbing this horrible way of seeing the world and each other.

“Parents must identify the ways Marxist critical race theory (CRT) is invading their children’s classrooms and eradicate it, and the search starts with examining the teacher training used in local school districts,” Few said. “Teachers are now taught how to inject CRT into innocent young minds through teaching methods that apply CRT’s racially divisive doctrines throughout all school activities. This subversive method is called culturally responsive teaching and culturally responsive pedagogy by its advocates.”

The mission statement on the USPIE website states, in part:

Grassroots leaders from around the country are working to 1) expose the lies being taught in government schools that harm children and threaten freedom, 2) encourage parents to take back responsibility to educate their children, 3) initiate and support efforts to return complete local control of government schools, and 4) encourage states to wean themselves off the federal education dole.

It is the vision of USPIE to create a culture where parents, empowered with the authority to choose what and how their children learn, are the undisputed primary educators of their children; where local schools operate in support of families, and where education is unencumbered by federal mandates.

The case is Sheri Few v. School District Kershaw County, No. 2022CP2800479, in the Kershaw County Fifth Judicial Circuit.

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