Despite a Faribault County commissioner’s concern whether the Extension’s curriculum contains a “woke” emphasis, the hiring of a support position is progressing.
Outgoing board chairman John Roper says three applicants applied for the 30-hour a week job and interviews are being conducted.
At a Dec. 9 meeting, commissioner Tom Loveall told board members,”If there is critical race theory or a ‘woke’ emphasis in the teaching, then I have a problem with it.”
Allison Sandve, spokeswoman for the University of Minnesota Extension Office, says the 4-H’s curriculum takes a “learn-by-doing” approach, unlike that used by school districts.
“The curriculum focuses on the ways a youth development organization can help young people thrive,” she says. “It covers a wide range of areas, including fine arts, livestock and STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics).”
Critical race theory (CRT) has become a controversial issue in school districts across the country, however, the curriculum is not taught in Minnesota schools.
So, it’s unclear where Loveall got the notion that CRT is being taught in 4-H programs.
“We are available to commissioners to answer questions and help them learn more about how 4-H helps build youth,” Sandve says. “We value the support of counties across the state and our important connection with commissioners.”
According to CRT, “U.S. social institutions —- criminal justice and education systems, labor and housing markets and healthcare system —- are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations and procedures that lead to different outcomes by race.”
Becky Harrington, Extension director of operations and systems, says 4-H programs support fairness, equity and inclusion.