As of late, school board meetings have shifted from places of order to places full of shouting and noise. Indiana is not exempt from this national trend. In particular, Carmel Clay School board meetings have been full of push back from parents who have concerns about what is happening in the school district.
Across the nation, some parents are concerned about indoctrination in schools. They are worried about critical race theory being taught, believe equity is a guise for something else, and believe socio-emotional learning is problematic. Additionally, in Carmel, parents also believe that the district’s academics are suffering because teachers are focusing on the wrong areas.
During one CCS school board meeting, parents read excerpts from books they did not approve of. After a man had a handgun fall out of his pocket at a July school board meeting, metal detectors were installed. Public comment, which is not required, was suspended in August. Although public comment was suspended, parents were still allowed to attend. After several disruptions during the last school board meeting, the district decided to hold future meetings virtually. The district also decided to address the claims of the unruly parents in a statement on its website.
In part, the statement said:
We typically would not engage or comment on outside groups but felt our parents and community needed to know the inappropriate activities we are experiencing. Board members have had their home addresses posted in acts of intimidation. Teachers have received letters and emails with threats of violence and unwarranted references to family members. School librarians and media specialists have been steadily under attack with accusations. We must return to civility and question those who find these tactics appropriate.
The full, 12 paragraph, statement can be read here.