Fired over CRT: Missouri high school teacher accused of teaching "critical race theory" loses job

Parents complained after Kim Morrison passed out of a worksheet titled "How Racially Privileged Are You?"

By Jon Skolnik

Published April 13, 2022 2:29PM (EDT)

People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. The term "critical race theory" defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers' efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. The term "critical race theory" defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers' efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

A Missouri high school teacher has been fired for allegedly using "critical race theory" (CRT) in the classroom, according to The Springfield News-Leader.

The decision came last week after Kim Morrison, an English teacher at Greenfield High School, read the book "Dear Martin," a young adult novel by Nic Stone. The book features a Black high school student attending predominantly white preparatory high school who falls victim to police violence.

According to the News-Leader, Morrison used a supplemental 15-question worksheet called "How Racially Privileged Are You?" as part of the book's lesson plan.

RELATED: Assistant principal fired for reading students a children's book called "I Need a New Butt!"

Morrison was reportedly called into the principal's office back in February after a rash of complaints from parents over her curriculum. 

"That first meeting, when [the principal] showed me that she had a copy of the handout and she wanted to know the context, she said the people she's hearing from said that this is CRT," Morrison told the News-Leader. "I said 'Well, it's not CRT. I don't know what CRT is because I didn't go to law school and we didn't cover it in grad school. This isn't it.'"

Morrison was reportedly called into the principal's office for a second time in mid-March, a few days ahead of a school board meeting. 

"[The principal] was still fielding complaints," Morrison told the News-Leader "That's when I got concerned that my conversation with her two weeks prior hadn't resolved anything."


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After meeting with the school's superintendent, Chris Kell, Morrison was told that her contract would not be renewed for the following year.

"Your decision to incorporate the worksheet associated with the novel 'Dear Martin,' due to the content and subject matter," read a letter from the superintendent. 

RELATED: The critics were right: "Critical race theory" panic is just a cover for silencing educators

Kell told the News-Leader that the school board is unlikely to change its decision on the matter.

"I would think at this point it is a done deal. It was a board vote," Kell said. "They are the ones that do the hiring, the non-renewals. It was their vote."

Kell also noted that Morrison's firing was the first time that accusations of critical race theory had been pinned on a teacher in the district. 

"We have the best interests of our students, our community, our staff," he said. "That's why we are here. We are trying to provide that school district that everybody can be proud of. In a situation like this, it comes down to a school board vote at this point. I don't feel like we teach critical race theory in our district."

RELATED: "Critical race theory" is a fairytale – but America's monsters are real

Morrison, for her part, said she was "deeply saddened" by the development, noting that "if this is how they terminate teachers – without asking questions, without speaking to the teacher – then no one is secure."

"And if they are opposed to broadening, to examining, their viewpoints," she added, "they are not doing students any good."

Morrison isn't the only teacher that's been fired in recent months over "critical race theory." 

Back in December, The Washington Post reported that Matthew Hawn, a former high school teacher from Sullivan County, Tennessee, was fired for discussing white privilege with students. And just a month earlier, a Texas principal was similarly forced to resign after parents complained that he was pushing CRT.

Despite the conservative furor around CRT, surveys and interviews have consistently shown that teachers do not believe CRT is being taught in classrooms across the country.

RELATED: The guy who brought us CRT panic offers a new far-right agenda: Destroy public education


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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Critical Race Theory Crt Missouri War On Public Education