NU athletes sign petition to keep critical race theory in classroom – KETV Omaha

There’s pushback on a proposed resolution that condemns the teaching of critical race theory at the University of Nebraska. Two petitions have popped up online in opposition. One introduced by #WeAreOne Nebraska has gathered 1,500 signatures since Monday.Five hundred of those signatures are from current NU athletes such as Sadio Fenner. “You’re taking away an opportunity to learn and to grow as a person because you don’t grow without having the conversations that I think critical race theory invites in the classroom,” Fenner said.The senior cross country runner from Colorado formed the Minority Student-Athlete Collective two years ago. His group teamed up with other advocacy groups to support critical race theory and explain how it promotes inclusiveness. “It’s really just welcoming conversations about how our history as a country has built in some systemic racism at times and really oppressed minorities in this country,” said Daniel Pearson, a former NU golfer and co-founder of United College Athlete Advocates.However, NU Regent and Republican candidate for governor, Jim Pillen disagrees.The resolution he introduced says critical race theory doesn’t promote inclusive and honest dialogue and education on campus. And its proponents seek to silence opposing views and disparage important American ideals.In a statement to KETV Newswatch 7, Pillen said, “Our citizens expect that their values will be upheld by the University. The imposition of critical race theory on our students runs counter to those ideals by attempting to silence their dissenting opinions. This resolution affirms a fair and balanced dialogue on all issues.”Gov. Pete Ricketts praised Pillen for his resolution.He has been critical of CRT in many of his recent speeches.”This not something that should be taught in schools because it undermines the foundation of our country,” Ricketts told KETV Newswatch 7 in June.UNL’s Faculty Senate has already voiced opposition to Pillen’s resolution and ACLU Nebraska is also opposed. It has its own petition.”It could definitely be a First Amendment violation,” said ACLU Legal and Policy Counsel Rose Godinez.Fenner is also concerned about the chilling effect it could have in recruiting students and athletes.”There is no place like Nebraska. There is a lot of opportunities here but if you take away the opportunity to grow from conversations stemming around critical race theory it hurts a lot of people,” Fenner said.Ricketts’ Director of Strategic Communications Taylor Gage said:“Some have missed the point of what the Board of Regents is doing: The resolution seeks to protect the freedom of speech on college campuses of students who oppose critical race theory. By definition, CRT pits people against each other, and when it’s applied it shuts down free speech. The UCAA is a liberal advocacy organization, and media outlets need to be careful about how they frame petitions generated by powerful political interest groups.”

There’s pushback on a proposed resolution that condemns the teaching of critical race theory at the University of Nebraska.

Two petitions have popped up online in opposition. One introduced by #WeAreOne Nebraska has gathered 1,500 signatures since Monday.

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Five hundred of those signatures are from current NU athletes such as Sadio Fenner.

“You’re taking away an opportunity to learn and to grow as a person because you don’t grow without having the conversations that I think critical race theory invites in the classroom,” Fenner said.

The senior cross country runner from Colorado formed the Minority Student-Athlete Collective two years ago.

His group teamed up with other advocacy groups to support critical race theory and explain how it promotes inclusiveness.

“It’s really just welcoming conversations about how our history as a country has built in some systemic racism at times and really oppressed minorities in this country,” said Daniel Pearson, a former NU golfer and co-founder of United College Athlete Advocates.

However, NU Regent and Republican candidate for governor, Jim Pillen disagrees.

The resolution he introduced says critical race theory doesn’t promote inclusive and honest dialogue and education on campus. And its proponents seek to silence opposing views and disparage important American ideals.

In a statement to KETV Newswatch 7, Pillen said, “Our citizens expect that their values will be upheld by the University. The imposition of critical race theory on our students runs counter to those ideals by attempting to silence their dissenting opinions. This resolution affirms a fair and balanced dialogue on all issues.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts praised Pillen for his resolution.

He has been critical of CRT in many of his recent speeches.

“This not something that should be taught in schools because it undermines the foundation of our country,” Ricketts told KETV Newswatch 7 in June.

UNL’s Faculty Senate has already voiced opposition to Pillen’s resolution and ACLU Nebraska is also opposed. It has its own petition.

“It could definitely be a First Amendment violation,” said ACLU Legal and Policy Counsel Rose Godinez.

Fenner is also concerned about the chilling effect it could have in recruiting students and athletes.

“There is no place like Nebraska. There is a lot of opportunities here but if you take away the opportunity to grow from conversations stemming around critical race theory it hurts a lot of people,” Fenner said.

Ricketts’ Director of Strategic Communications Taylor Gage said:

“Some have missed the point of what the Board of Regents is doing: The resolution seeks to protect the freedom of speech on college campuses of students who oppose critical race theory. By definition, CRT pits people against each other, and when it’s applied it shuts down free speech. The UCAA is a liberal advocacy organization, and media outlets need to be careful about how they frame petitions generated by powerful political interest groups.”

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