A Spring Hill woman who says she helped craft a new state law that limits teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools said she objects to certain guidelines state officials have proposed on the matter.

Tricia Stickel told The Tennessee Star in an interview Sunday that she is not an activist. Instead she describes herself as “an effectivist” — someone she said is effective at making positive changes.

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) proposed the rules.

“We were hoping for the Department of Education to administrate violations of the rules. They decided that they would push that responsibility to the LEA’s, the Local Education Agencies. Well, that is where the CRT comes from. So that was really a slap in the face. I worked very hard on this CRT bill. They gave the administration of the violations to them. The problems I had with it were they are telling you [that] the parent, the child, or an employee are the only ones who can bring forward a complaint,” Stickel said.

“Well, if there is a textbook that they are using, very rarely would a child complain about it. The mom many times doesn’t want her child to be targeted. There are many tax paying citizens who spend a lot of time on textbook review, like Moms for Liberty. They have gone through dozens and dozens of textbooks and found hundreds of examples of inappropriate content. They should be able to present that to somebody who would uphold the law, but they’re not allowed to do that. That was one problem that I had.”

According to the state of Tennessee’s website, educators may not teach that one race is superior to another. They also cannot teach that an individual is privileged due to race or sex, whether consciously or subconsciously. They also may not teach that the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist.

Stickel said that time in this matter is an important commodity.

“The system that they sent up was that the mother of the child or an employee could bring it to the LEA. That would have to happen within 30 days of them finding out about it. They then would have to have 60 days to respond and let you know if they were going to investigate that. We are now 90 days into a 180-day year. The timeframe is entirely too long,” Stickel said.

“Having the LEAs be the adjudicator of the violation of the law is inappropriate and, frankly, absurd. The executive branch is supposed to be ensuring that the new law is not being violated. If it is then they should be taking the action — not where the CRT is actually coming out of. Between having the students report it or their parents and then having the local school adjudicate it there will be very little chance of diminishing CRT education or indoctrination of our children.”

JC Bowman, spokesman for the Professional Educators of Tennessee (PET), said in a statement last week that “enforcement could be challenging.”

“The key will be at the local level, and stakeholder groups working to ensure our educators understand this new law. We plan to solicit educator input and give that input to policymakers,” Bowman said.

“Ultimately, people on both sides of this debate want students to become good citizens, who are able of safeguarding our democracy and stewarding our nation toward a greater understanding of our shared American values.”

PET is a Nashville-based non-partisan teacher association.

Bowman told The Star Friday that different school districts throughout the state might interpret the state rules differently.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.