There is an elevated national public concern that the teachings of "Critical Race Theory" (CRT) are being adopted or proposed for use in public schools. The Okanogan County Patriots movement shares this concern, leading to our involvement in discussions with our Omak School District.

The Patriot group held a public CRT informational event at the Omak Civic League Park on June 10th and afterwards established a 17-member CRT Task Force to stay on top of this issue. Four of us had a constructive meeting with Omak School District Superintendent Michael Porter. During that meeting, we agreed that “critical race theory” refers to a race-based focus on equity of outcomes. On several occasions, Mr. Porter told us that he did not support Critical Race Theory. A new state law (ESSB 5044) requires training in “cultural competency” for the school board, administrators, teachers, para-educators, and staff this fall. Superintendent Porter said that no curriculum has been adopted for the training as yet. We all left that meeting encouraged, but determined to maintain our Public Exposure Campaign about Critical Race Theory and to continue monitoring our School Board’s discussions and actions.

In an article in the Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle on June 16, 2021, it was suggested that the topic of Critical Race Theory came to our attention in response to a resolution passed by the Omak School Board in May acknowledging Native American historical ownership of land used by the district. I want to clarify that our actions had nothing to do with that resolution on lands. Our concerns are entirely based on mandates in the new law, which describes itself as "An Act relating to equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school systems." We are not opposed to cultural competency and we strongly oppose racism, but we are concerned that the law may be used to introduce a new and harmful racism in the form of CRT training.

Mr. Porter stated, according to the June 16th article, that there is some confusion about ESSB 5044. He sees the bill as promoting culturally responsive practices and training for adults in the schools and not about student learning, practices, content or curriculum. Mr. Porter also stated, according to the article, that this law doesn't promote Critical Race Theory and neither does the Omak School District.

We all know that what teachers learn is then transmitted to students, so we can't pretend that training doesn't later transfer into the classrooms in one way or another. After 20 years of positive interactions with the Omak School District, I have yet to meet a teacher or staff member who would want any part of CRT’s toxic Marxist-based indoctrination. For community assurance, I suggest the following policy to be adopted by our Omak School Board prior to the beginning of this new school year.



All training programs and curriculum for Omak School District employees or students relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion shall not pressure students or staff to personally affirm any of the following tenets of Critical Race Theory:

  1. That any individual, by virtue of race or sex…
    1. Is inherently superior or inferior;
    2. Should be discriminated against or given special privileges;
    3. Is responsible for past actions committed by others;
    4. Is inherently racist (consciously or unconsciously);
    5. Shall be made to feel discomfort or guilt;
    6. Shall be assumed to have a certain moral character;
  2. That hard work, attention to detail, and other mature behaviors are the creations of one race to oppress another;
  3. That the United States is fundamentally and systemically a racist nation.


Mike Stenberg
Founder, Okanogan County Patriots
"A Movement...not a Militia"

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