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UMKC Election Engagement Series: Exploring Crucial Issues in the 2024 Election

Students give their opinion of critical race theory being taught in schools
Voters+will+decide+who+wins+their+support+based+on+a+variety+of+topics+and+issues+and+where+candidates+stand+on+them.
Iqbal Singh
Voters will decide who wins their support based on a variety of topics and issues and where candidates stand on them.

  Another election year is here, and with it comes a volley of issues and topics debated fiercely between candidates.

  Many of the topics could affect students and faculty at UMKC. People’s decisions on who will receive their vote will be decided by each candidate’s position on these issues.

  To gauge UMKC’s interest in the upcoming election, Roo News will ask students and faculty on various political talking points to see how they feel about them, how it affects them and what they would like to see happen.

  As February kicks off Black History Month, the issue of critical race theory (CRT) seemed a fitting topic to start these discussions.

  CRT is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a set of ideas holding that racial bias is inherent in many parts of western society, especially in its legal and social institutions, on the basis of their having been primarily designed for and implemented by white people.”

  “Critical Race Theory is essential to understand how minorities have been marginalized historically,” said political science major Brea Oglesby. “Without understanding how it happened, we can never hope to change it.” 

  Proponents of CRT believe that teaching the theory in schools can help students understand how public policy has been shaped by racism. However,  opponents of CRT believe it unfairly draws attention to the darker parts of US history, pitting races against each other and stifling patriotism.

  “States banning [CRT] are perpetrating the exact things that it is trying to educate students on,” said Stephanie Hymen, a pre-medicine student. “Denying teachers the right to teach not only continues to promote racism, it also impedes on teachers first amendment rights.”

  Currently, 18 states have banned the teaching of CRT in the public schooling system, either through legislation or other avenues, with several others trying to set regulations in place to prevent its teaching.

  “[Schools] should promote critical thinking –it is important that people know our history,” said Marissa Polk, an exploratory student. 

  To ensure registration or update voting location, Kansas residents click here, and Missouri residents click here.

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