LACONIA — The city school superintendent's statement that critical race theory is not being taught in city schools has allayed the concerns a city councilor who brought the matter up at the last council meeting.

Councilor Bruce Cheney said Superintendent Steve Tucker’s assurance that the controversial concept is not used in the School District’s curriculum puts the matter to rest as far as he is concerned.

“He answered the question ‘No,’ and I take him at his word,” Cheney said Monday. “He’s always been direct and responsive.”

Cheney asked City Manager Scott Myers at the May 24 council meeting to ask Tucker whether critical race theory or the content of the 1619 Project were being taught to the city’s public school children.

The following day Tucker issued a statement saying neither syllabus was being used.

Cheney said he asked for the explanation because of the intense political backlash which critical race theory has generated in some circles and some national media outlets.

The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the school budget on Monday. But Cheney said given his satisfaction with Tucker’s statement, he sees no need to raise the issue then.

However, about 30 members of the public turned out at last week’s School Board meeting with about six addressing the board to denounce critical race theory, characterizing it as a threat to the country and a form of reverse racism. When one speaker mentioned Tucker’s statement, many in the audience immediately interjected that what the superintendent said was false.

Cheney said that since he asked for the clarification from Tucker he has received two calls from local critical race theory detractors.

One caller was Jim Thompson, who was among the speakers during last week’s board meeting. In their phone conversation Cheney said he told Thompson he was satisfied with Tucker’s assurance and so he saw no reason to belabor the issue.

Asked Tuesday whether, like Cheney, he took Tucker at his word, Thompson replied, “I don’t think so.”

Pressed to explain, he declined to elaborate.

“I don’t want to go into it at this point,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes. Time will tell.”

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