MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – A contentious Manitowoc School Board meeting started off with a “Stop the Hate” protest organized by MLK Day Manitowoc and other community organizers.

Ryan Pfeifer, an organizer for MLK Day Manitowoc said, “So we’re here today to say there’s many folks in Manitowoc County who are wonderful folks who believe in public education and we’re here to uplift our community today and we’ll have a diverse representation out here.”

This Manitowoc School Board meeting brought out a lot of protestors who said they believe in teaching accurate history.

Aaron Bailey, another organizers for MLK Day Manitowoc said, “Critical Race Theory in its purest form is really what MLKstood for it’s just on both levels jobs, well being, schools, it’s just teaching and understanding how we have been divided and how we can become one, how we can grow together.”

Members of the public questioned the board about the purpose of Derute Consulting Cooperative within the school district.

One community member said, “Outside consultants are brought in that have some link to some Critical Race Theory element.”

Concerned Citizens of Manitowoc, a self described loosely formed group, said they take issue with the concept of Critical Race Theory and the stop the hate protest.

Gene Weyer, a member of Concerned Citizens of Manitowoc said, “We love our community, the group over there looks like something different. We’re here for excellence in education. We’re all here to make sure the schools do well. We want the schools to get back to standard classes. We want them to take a look at traditional things. Math, Science, English.”

The school board also discussed COVID-19 precautions for the upcoming school year and made no decision.

The Manitowoc School District says they do not teach critical race theory and have no plans to change the curriculum this year.