MILFORD \u2014 School-related issues were top of mind at the recent Board of Aldermen meeting. One person, a retired high school teacher, brought up critical race theory, a controversial topic in districts throughout the state this year, while someone asked why school board meetings are still being held virtually instead of in person. Retired Joseph High School teacher Walton Rollins, at last week\u2019s Board of Aldermen meeting, claimed schools hide critical race theory teachings behind the term social emotional learning. Critical race theory is an academic framework that examines how race and privilege are woven into American systems and institutions. The concept, which has roots in the 1970s and 1980s, has prompted national debate, despite little proof of it being taught as part of curriculum in most schools around the country. Superintendent Anna Cutaia has denied claims that the district is incorporating CRT into its curriculum, most recently with a letter to parents, staff and guardians. \u201cMilford Public Schools is and has always been founded on the tenants of respect for all human beings, regardless of race ethnic origin, social class ability, religion or sexual orientation,\u201d Cutaia said in her letter. \u201cPart of developing respect for all people lies in learning more about them: historically, geographically and culturally. \u201cIt is through this knowledge that our students will broaden their worldview and perspective, and be better prepared for their role as citizens once they leave us,\u201d Cutaia added. \u201cI find it appropriate to remind our community making false claims about the teaching of critical race theory in our district.\u201d Rollins also spoke during public comment on a common term he finds throughout Milford schools \u2014 \u201cequity.\u201d He said equity is the basis of all SEL core competencies and calls for all teaching and learning to be done through an equitable lens. \u201cWhat is the difference between equity and equality,\u201d Rollins said. \u201cEquality in education means we treat all children the same. Equity in education entails race-based social engineering which favors selected agreed minorities.\u201d In her letter, Cutaia stated that some people have claimed that Milford schools has thrown out all of their history books and are teaching students to feel ashamed or guilty of their \u2018whiteness.\u2019 \u201cThat is categorically not true,\u201d she said. \u201cOur goal is and always has been to develop \u2018thinkers.\u2019 As educators responsible for the well-being the intellectual and social\/emotional development of all students in our care, the citizens of Milford should expect nothing less.\u201d Another question asked at the BOA meeting was why the Milford school board meetings were still being held virtually. In an emailed statement to Hearst Connecticut Media, Board of Education Chair Susan Glennon said a state statute implemented in the spring allows boards to meet virtually through April 2022. \u201cEach individual board, through its chairperson, has authority over its meetings,\u201d Glennon said. \u201cOur virtual meetings have been live-streamed in real-time on YouTube and public access channels. They have been recorded with the recordings posted on the Board\u2019s web page on the district. \u201cWe are providing an opportunity for members of the public to join our virtual meetings in order to make public comment,\u201d Glennon added. \u201cThese steps fulfill the requirements of the statute. There are other Milford boards and boards of education across the state who continue to meet virtually. We are not the only one.\u201d Glennon said the board did reach out last summer to inquire about the use of City Hall chambers for its meetings. \u201cThey could not firmly commit to all of our meeting dates, since there might be conflicts when other city boards who have dedicated use of the chambers also return to in-person meetings,\u201d she said. \u201cFor instance, the normal September Board of Aldermen meeting date fell on Labor Day, so they met this past Monday, which was also the date of the Board of Education\u2019s business meeting.\u201d She added they continue to review Milford\u2019s health metrics with the health department and are in the process of developing safety protocols to return to in-person meetings, which will be held in the Jonathan Law Auditorium.