Guest Column: “CRT” in Our Schools by State Rep. Trish Ladner

“CRT” in Our Schools
by State Rep. Trish Ladner

As a legislator, I’ve been concerned for quite a while about what our children are being taught and that they are not being taught “history” as it actually occurred, but a rewritten fabrication of our history that reflects a political/social economic agenda that is not factually true nor accurate. Because of the pandemic lockdowns, parents have taken the opportunity to look at what their children are being taught. As a result, parents of all social economic backgrounds and races are standing up against Critical Race Theory. I decided to take a look for myself and got a hold of a “new” revised history book and read the account of the Battle of the Bulge during WWII. My Uncle Paul was one of the only surviving servicemen from that battle. We spent many hours at family gatherings recalling war stories from uncles, relatives and family friends who fought in WWII in both the European and Pacific Theatres. Their stories transported us to the battle. We were like sponges soaking up the challenges, hardships and the victories. Unfortunately, after reading the “new” version of our history, my greatest fears were realized. The recount of the Battle of the Bulge was nothing like I learned from my uncle.

Critical Race Theory seeks to teach American history in a way that elevates the role of racism in the nation’s history, and the impact they claim racism still has on the nation today. CRT is referred to as “project-based civics,” or “action civics.” We can draw a comparison between CRT and Hilter’s indoctrination of the German youth. According to, “Education in the Third Reich served to indoctrinate students with the National Socialist world view.” Hitler’s plan was aimed to indoctrinate the younger population through reforming the education system.  His plan went undetected and succeeded. Children were turning against parents and families in order to support the goals they were taught in school.

Xi Van Fleet, a Virginia mom who immigrated to the US after enduring Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution recently came against CRT stating, “We are teaching our children to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history.” She added: “Growing up in China, all of this sounds very familiar. The Communist regime uses the same critical theory to divide people. The only difference is that they used class instead of race. This is indeed the American version of the Chinese cultural revolution.”

A number of state officials, including Governor Noem, have indicated that they would like to ban “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) at the next possible opportunity and I support that. The debate over the curriculum is not just happening in South Dakota, but in several states across the country. A number of Republican controlled states have already committed to banning Critical Race Theory and it is likely that South Dakota will be addressing this during the upcoming 2022 state legislative session. I’m proud to note that during the 2021 legislative session, Governor Noem signed a bill into law that allotted $900,000 to additional civics instruction in the state.

At this point, we can’t afford to be complacent. We need to be proactive which isn’t always easy in this “Woke” culture of correctness; a culture that makes it unacceptable to discuss our country’s freedom or the amazing opportunities America offers to every citizen (if they choose). Heaven forbid we teach our children about them or stand up against radical movements that put our children, our freedoms, and our safety in jeopardy. I am unapologetically proud to be an America, proud of the men and women who have fought for our freedom and who continue that fight and I am committed to fight alongside you to the best of my ability.

Representative Trish Ladner
District 30

8 thoughts on “Guest Column: “CRT” in Our Schools by State Rep. Trish Ladner”

  1. I agree, for the most part, with Rep. Ladner’s comments. Yet, we must be very very careful not to cross the line and becoming the thought police. Critical Race Theory is just that, theory. It is a theory that sees racism as systemic and institutional, rather than just a collection of individual prejudices. It is not a curriculum nor is it a “class” that is taught. Yet, it is used by some instructors as a basis for some classroom instruction in some states. That said, I am not aware of any South Dakota K-12 public school system that has endorsed this theory/concept (nor do I anticipate that any will). Banning a theory, concept or idea from even being discussed (particularly in an upper level class or college class such as Civics or Current Events, etc.) when it is truly repulsive or outright false, flies in the face of open dialogue as well as freedom of speech.

    Bottom line, I don’t like and don’t believe in Critical Race Theory one bit, but we must be diligent in our efforts to show our young people that, even when an idea is off the wall wrong, we can still respectfully discuss why the idea is wrong while ensuring that others have an opportunity to present their opposing views and beliefs. Isn’t that what America was founded upon?

    1. Good points. The problem, though, is that CRT and social justice thinking is being pushed on students at schools across the nation. Discussing these ideas as theories in college classrooms seems fine. But not pushing them on students. They also have no place in K-12. Schools certainly ought not to be teaching young students new forms of racism or that our unifying political principles are all just a sham.

      Another problem with CRT and the social justice worldview is that they are ideologies rather than theories in the normal sense. They don’t offer up hypotheses, test them, wait for confirmation, etc. They offer up stories that just assert the world is a particular way. The conclusions are all baked into the assumptions and “methods” of these “theories.” So, there is an extremely fine line between putting these ideas up for discussion and engaging in propagandizing.

  2. Trish,

    What was different in the recounting of the battle of the bulge and what text did you consult?

    I’m assuming you can’t answer because you’re just making up garbage as is your general m.o.

  3. When the veil is lifted, I wonder how many people like Anon above will realize they are a target, too. 🙂

    CRT is lame.

    Algebra is awesome.

    More Algebra.

    Less CRT.

    “If you want a fight, you’ve got one.” — Alex Jones

    Let’s not fight.


  4. CRT—Democrats thought we should own other humans…..when they acknowledge and repent from that one then we can talk

  5. Trish, did you see Gen Milley yesterday? What a loser. All that reading and stuff. Why waste time looking at different perspectives and theories even if out of the norm. If everyone would just think like us here in SD it wouldn’t be necessary. Our kids need to learn as our Gov has said that this country is most special. That should be enough.

    1. Love it. “Shouldn’t we be broad in our thinking? And so shouldn’t we expose ourselves to CRT to expand our minds in this complex world of ours?” You have to defend CRT with these sorts of generic admonitions because it’s indefensible on its merits. Which people now are appreciating. Your logic also applies to nazism, communism, white nationalism, etc. Should we teach those to students too?

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