“We Don’t Teach Critical Race Theory Here”: A Sentiment Analysis of K-12 School and District Social Media Statements

Emily M. Hodge, Joshua M. Rosenberg, Francesca A. López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Conservative activism around the purported influence of Critical Race Theory (CRT) on K-12 education has swept the country in recent years. While others have documented the sources of these messages, how school districts have responded to these critiques has not yet been investigated. Drawing on research on how social media algorithms elevate polarizing information and activate emotions, we analyze public social media posts on school/district Facebook pages mentioning the phrase “critical race” to examine how educators address the claim of teaching CRT and how the local community responds. We use sentiment analysis to examine the emotions of these posts and how they are distributed across states. We also explore the sentiment of subsequent community reactions reflected in the comments of each post, including negative emotions such as anger and fear, and positive emotions such as trust. This study has implications for how school districts can help to stop cycles of fearful rhetoric and engage with stakeholders in ways that unite a school community around shared priorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-547
Number of pages15
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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