Meghan Lukens, the Democrat Candidate for State Representative for Colorado House District 26, has come under scrutiny from some voters for comments she made regarding integrating anti-racist theories into Steamboat Springs area schools including social equity and Critical Race Theory.
A Rumble channel entitled Steamboat Concerned Voter released a video in two parts where Lukens, in the process of submitting her comps, describes how she has incorporated race-based studies and programs into the school where she teaches and how she would like to further that effort. The video had been posted on Meghan Lukens’ own YouTube account as well but has since been removed.
In the video, Lukens says one of the things needing to be improved within the school is “the students” themselves because it’s a “predominantly white school”. She goes on to say “there are a lot of students who are also perpetrators and that’s a whole other category of students that need to be worked on”.
She then discusses a presentation on “professional development around equity” where an external equity literacy consultant was brought in to discuss school cultures being “white supremacy” based, “predominantly male”, “traditionally Christian”, “traditionally Republican”, or other “categories of people that have historically held power”. She makes the observation that there were teachers who were uncomfortable with the presentation, however, she thought it was “awesome”.
Lukens then goes on to chronicle her inquiry project titled “Creating a decolonized and anti-racist government curriculum” where she makes the claim that the “majority of white people came from a dominant worldview steeped in white supremacy”. Therefore, it’s the school’s responsibility to correct the blind spots where white supremacy exists within the classroom.
She concludes the video with the statement that she has become “obsessed” with “working toward dismantling inequity”.
Meghan Lukens never specifically mentions Critical Race Theory nor its implementation in the classroom in this video. However, in an email to Ken Mauldin, a concerned parent, that topic is addressed.
In May of 2021, Ken Mauldin wrote an email to the Steamboat Springs school board and included Steamboat Radio media figure Shannon Lukens, Meghan’s mother. In the email, Mauldin states “I have started hearing concerns from others in the community regarding our District’s possible adoption of the toxic Critical Race Theory curriculum, and wanted to share my thoughts.” He concludes with “this is such an important matter, I am hopeful that you will [publicly] address the issue and provide the community guidance regarding your intentions”.
Shannon Lukens forwarded the email to her daughter Meghan believing she could provide more context to Mr. Mauldin.
Meghan Lukens and Ken Mauldin then had a conversation over several emails. In this email thread, Meghan Lukens makes her defense for CRT in the classroom. She states “by not teaching Critical Race Theory, we are doing our students a disservice”. Mr. Mauldin’s replied with his case against CRT based on his experiences and research.
In the end, Lukens concludes Mauldin’s arguments against CRT are “offensive and racist” and tells him “I no longer think this conversation is productive for either of us, and therefore I am going to choose to disengage. If you respond to me, I will not respond back”.
In talking with Mr. Mauldin he told us he doesn’t know why his argument against Critical Race Theory was racist and has inquired of Meghan Lukens for an explanation but has not received an answer.
Ken Mauldin was concerned enough about this subject that he ran for the board of the Steamboat Springs School District.
Meghan Lukens’ effect on students has been notable. An open letter to the Steamboat Pilot & Today dated October 3, 2022, by a collaboration of students contained “Meghan Lukens changed my view of history” in the title. In the letter, they explained the reason for this changed view was because they “understand the complex cause and effect relationships that lead to the world we have today”.
The full unedited video of Meghan Lukens’ comments can be found on the Steamboat Concerned Voters Rumble channel.