So here's a story from my corner of the state that tells you how far the "critical race theory" panic has seeped into the ordinary operations of school districts.
Penncrest School District is located in the NW corner of the state, located mostly in Crawford County. It's a mid-sized (around 3500 students K-12) district that was stitched together out of several very small rural districts.
The district pops up in the news occasionally, most recently in May of this year when two board members got in a Facebook flap over a collection of LGBTQ+ books displayed at the Maplewood High School Library. Board member David Valesky posted:Besides the point of being totally evil, this is not what we need to be teaching kids. They aren't at school to be brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is okay. Its [sic] actually being promoted to the point where it's even 'cool'.
There have always been gay students in our hallways. And unfortunately there have always been hateful voices looking to discriminate against them. Let's just be a little better today and not make kids [sic] lives worse by being hateful, bigoted and prejudiced.
“I have never been more disappointed in this school board in my entire career, four years of being on this school board, and I have never been more disappointed about the overreaction, about the craziness, the insanity,” he said.