One of Huntsville’s hotly contested seats for the Board of Education (BOE) will be heading to a runoff.
Andrea Alvarez and Angela McClure will head to a runoff election for the District 3 seat on the Huntsville BOE.
Alvarez received 47.97%, McClure received 26.83% and the third-place candidate Elisa Ferrell received 25.2%.
Holly Mccarty won BOE District 2 with 66.01%.
Ryan Renaud kept his seat in BOE District 4 with 68.87%.
Cheyenne Bennet took BOE District 2 with 67.32%.
The runoff will be held on September 20.
The Huntsville BOE election has been at the forefront of cultural discussion in the state due to accusations of teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT).
While CRT is an academic legal theory that offers a particular perspective on marginalized or oppressed groups, it has become a common term applied to most teaching on gender equality, oppression, and racism, in legal, cultural, or pedagogical settings.
Some have lamented opponents of CRT for including gender and LGBTQ+ activism under the umbrella of CRT. However, the founders of the theory repeatedly claimed that it is not limited to the legal realm.
Huntsville was the cause of controversy in December of 2021. A parent submitted a claim to the state BOE, decrying a teacher’s training course where certain tenets of CRT were discussed. The parent listed the key terms covered during the diversity training module presentation: Allyship, (White) Privilege, Equity, Implicit Bias, Racism, Racially Responsive Pedagogy, and Discrimination.
McClure said she has personal experience with certain concepts being taught in Huntsville schools. McClure said, “I have a daughter in seventh grade, and she was coming home with these really strange ideas; she was introduced to a lot of ideas that did not come from our home, ideas that she was persuaded by.
“This ideology that the liberals are pushing is in our schools; it's in our curriculum, and teachers are not being held accountable for what they say in the classroom. The children should not be exposed to who they are married to, what political party they like, and what gender they are. Teachers should not be asking children those kinds of questions.”
One example McClure provided was an email from a guidance counselor from Huntsville city schools, Nancy Wolfe.
“I am trying to be open and inclusive with my students who prefer other pronouns and let them know I am supportive of them,” the email from Wolfe read.
Alvarez expressed her desire to learn from both sides of the debate but does not wish to see indoctrination in the school system.
About the guidance counselor’s email, Alvarez said she believed the counselor had the best intentions, which fell short due to the school system not providing proper guidance.
"The world is changing so fast,” Alvarez told 1819 News. “I don’t think Huntsville City Schools has provided proper guidance to our teachers on how to handle these new social issues.
“I feel like that guidance counselor thought she was doing what she thought was the best thing to do to make her students feel inclusive, and I think it did read wrong, and I think it did offend people."
Alvarez said both sides of this debate should be heard.
"I think we need to be listening to everyone," said Alvarez. "I have kids in elementary school, and this is not a topic I was familiar with until entering this race, and I have been enlightened by the far-left and the far-right on how they feel about it. I think I have a good understanding of both sides. I think we can get to a middle ground where we are inclusive without doing any sort of indoctrination and without bringing it up to students who may not know about it otherwise.”
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