Former Assistant Secretary of the Army Casey Wardynski, a candidate for Alabama's fifth congressional seat, was recently criticized for allowing some aspects of so-called Critical Race Theory (CRT) to be offered during his time as superintendent of Huntsville City Schools.
It was also mentioned in an attack ad from his opponent, Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong. The ad was apparently referring to a teacher training session offered in May 2015.
However, Wardynski insists had he known about it, it would have been removed from the agenda.
During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5, Wardynski shrugged off the attack and tied the introduction of CRT to Huntsville being under a federal court's order to fulfill certain obligations because of segregation long before he arrived on the scene.
"It's politics, so anything your opponent can find that he thinks gives him an edge, they're going to talk about," Wardynski said. "That's to be expected. But what they don't talk about is, you know, the third of school systems in our state that are still under federal control. Huntsville is one of them, and Madison County Schools are also. You never hear that mentioned anywhere by elected officials. And yet, that was all a result of state law. States decided, as a matter of law and policy, to segregate, and the federal government said no, we don't. In the 70s, they imposed court orders on many, many systems here, and a third of them are still under the control of federal judges.
"Huntsville is one of them. Madison County is another. And, I mean, they're in charge. And if they want to impose on you, what they imposed on Huntsville in 2015 was a thing called culturally responsive training. This was to basically -- understand the culture of the kids you're teaching, so when you teach, it is relevant to their world. You don't bring a bunch of kids in poverty and treat them like they're sort of middle-class suburban kids and talk after Christmas about all of the gifts they got because they probably got no gifts. You don't do 'what you did on your summer vacation' with those kids because they probably didn't have a summer vacation. And you try to attune your instruction to their circumstances."
Wardynski said he was unaware that CRT training was taking place.
"Now, did some visiting contractor stick something in there on CRT?" he added. "Perhaps. If we had found it, we would have thrown it out of there because it's got nothing to do with culturally sensitive training. So leaders -- a small part of it is giving direction. And the other part is checking. And so, when you check, and you find stuff you don't like, you get rid of it. And if that entails going back to the court, we would have gone back to the court. Nobody raised it in committee. In the community, there were three hearings at the high school where the order was imposed. Every year, citizens have a chance to interact quarterly, monthly, with an advisory committee the judge put in place. No mention of any of that there. So, if it existed, it didn't come up on the radar, and if it had come up on our radar, it would have been out of here because racist theories are not part of desegregation."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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