Servant’s heart leads Chris Persaud to run for Palm Beach County School Board
Christopher Persaud is a man on a mission. Persaud knew he had to take a stand if these issues came to his school after seeing other states try to silence parents who confronted school boards about alarming changes to their child’s curriculum, mask mandates, and critical race theory (CRT). He had no idea that one day he would be arrested and dragged out of his school for standing up for what he believed was right.
On October 27, 2021, Persaud, a West Palm Beach, Florida elementary school teacher, was arrested for violating his school district’s policy by not wearing a facial covering in class and refusing to leave campus when asked to do so by the school principal. On April 26, 2022, he was found guilty of trespassing and fined $323 in court costs.
Before that day in October 2021, Persaud had become concerned about the changes to his student’s school curriculum. He believed that the school should not teach the children about sexualization or CRT. Persaud believed that parents’ rights and traditional and religious values were violated. He was also alarmed when the United States Attorney General accused parents of being domestic terrorists for questioning the government’s narrative when parents went before school boards to express their concerns.
“It’s all these things that inspired me to take a stand. I wasn’t a candidate. I was just the teacher in the classroom. And I saw where they were going, especially with the mask mandates. They were using mandates to implement control and force policy upon our children. I believe these policies have been proven to be ineffective and harmful. I realized that I had to be a voice for the parents and the children, so I filed for candidacy for the open seat on Palm Beach County School Board District 7 in January,” shares Persaud.
Persaud realized that CRT was disguised as social-emotional learning though he initially deceived himself about its value. Persaud believed that teaching CRT was almost like programming children to hate each other based on race. What did this practically mean? In Persaud’s school district, there are a lot of biracial children. Do you hate half of yourself? Do you hate your mother or father if they’re of a different race? Persaud found himself pushed to a higher level of awareness by this realization. Now he recognized the importance of serving a community – his community. Persaud grew up in District 7, and what was allowed to happen in the schools affected him personally because it was causing harm to his community. Persaud promises that if elected to the school board, he will serve his community with the same zeal and conviction that led to his arrest for opposing his school’s mask mandate.
District 7 is predominantly black and comprises the Haitian, Hispanic, Jamaican, Trinidad, and Guyana communities. Persaud believes the black community has lost a significant amount of its voice due to misrepresentation and that all these people have been unnoticed and misrepresented. Instead of the harmful CRT curriculum, Persaud would like to establish more culturally influential lessons and work with people who could bring that to pass without harming one culture over the other.
Persaud reflects on the day he stood against wearing a mask, saying, “I stood as a believer, a Christian, a man of faith. And then as a parent and a teacher. And those things propelled me to run for a place on the school board. This is for everybody. I want to bring healing. I want to bring servitude to my community and inspire others that they can make a difference.
I’m not afraid to go toe to toe with anybody on behalf of our children. So, if anybody feels like they’re going to infringe upon our children’s lives and their well-being or values, I won’t let that fly. I’ve done this before I was a candidate. How much more will I do if I have parents get behind me now? And I would say vote for me to stand for our generation. Let’s stand for the children, protect them, and keep them from anybody trying to do any political indoctrination. Let’s allow them to think critically, not be critically taught.”
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