An organization formed to prevent the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as part of the curriculum in Jennings County Schools, has scheduled a forum later this month to present that message to the public.

The group, which calls itself Excellence in Education Jennings County (EIEJC), hopes to keep CRT programs out of local schools after seeing the programs gain traction in some other counties.

“Children should be taught how to think, not what to think,” said David Cheatham, a representative for EIEJC, former educator and State Representative who served on the House Education Committee.

Organizers say EIEJC’s two main objectives are ensuring parents’ rights and proposing policies to prevent Critical Race Theory from being taught in the local schools.

Superintendent Teresa Brown said this week that Jennings County School Corporation does not teach CRT and has policies dictating curriculum and instruction standards as approved by the state.

She said Cheatham has approached the school board about including language specifically addressing CRT by policy. However, the board’s policies already limit curriculum to approved state curriculum and teaching CRT is not included in those standards.

“We also know the state legislature has proposed bills for this session that could provide more specific guidance in this area and it would be prudent to receive this information before passing additional policies in Jennings County,” Brown said. “We want to ensure that Jennings County policies align with state laws. It is always our goal to make thoughtful decisions that are based on facts.”

Meanwhile, the EIEJC has said that teaching Critical Race Theory is part of an overall effort by some to undermine the “traditional values” under which the country was formed.

“This new group believes we are engaged in a spiritual battle for the heart and soul of our country’s future,” the EIEJC said in a release. “They are convinced that now is the time for us to get involved before it is too late.”

The EIEJC forum will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at The Barn Willow Event Center, 2060 W. CR. 200 N., in North Vernon, Indiana. Admission is free. Alex Newman, an international journalist, educator, author, speaker, investor and consultant, will be the main speaker. For more information, contact