Our Views: Chehalis School Board Has Been Remarkably Successful

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In recent weeks, the Chehalis School Board has faced criticism on a pair of topics it has little control over: critical race theory and state-mandated language on inclusion for students, including those who identify as transgender.

We think it’s important to take a look back at some of the school district’s successes.

In June, for the second year in a row, 100% of the graduating class from the Chehalis School District were admitted to college or trade school.   

Last fall, when COVID-19 restrictions were keeping students out of classrooms, parents across the country were calling for schools to reopen. 

The Chehalis School District found a way to bring students back to class safely long before most others. By November, all Chehalis students were able to return to in-person learning. As late as last March, Chehalis was the largest school district in Western Washington allowing students to come to school.

Across the country, the ideology of critical race theory, which some school districts are beginning to teach, is tearing communities apart. Last month, the Chehalis School Board adopted a sensible and balanced equity statement. 

In the statement, the board restated that the central purpose of the school district is to give students the ability to think for themselves and prepare them for career and college and that the district  is not and will not become a partisan or political organization.   

The statement makes clear that the district will not be promoting the critical race theory ideology and it will not be part of the district’s curriculum while still allowing free discussion of controversial topics in the classroom.

Our community is fortunate to have many organizations making positive contributions to our children and our families. 

One of these is the Chehalis School District.

However, in the last two months, this remarkably successful district has been under attack by local citizens frustrated with the state-mandated gender inclusion policy. 

Citizens are directing their anger at the wrong place. 

The Chehalis School District is required by law to join the other 260 districts in this state in adopting the gender inclusion policy. 

If citizens are frustrated with this policy they should focus on changing minds of the elected officials in Olympia, the Legislature and the governor, and not the local Chehalis school district and board.