FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Community members join a panel discussion on critical race theory September 21.

It was hosted and moderated by Western Arkansas Transparency in Government at the Fort Smith Senior Activity Center.

One of the panelists was State Rep. Mark Lowery.

He says one of his main concerns about critical race theory is making sure the students don’t feel overwhelmed.

“These theories can be discussed in college classrooms, students know that if they don’t like the way it is, they can get up and leave,” Lowery said. “A fourth grader doesn’t really have the ability to get up and leave an uncomfortable discussion.”

Ila Campbell is a former history teacher, and member of the group Informed Parents of Fayetteville Public Schools.

She was also at the panel discussion to bring her thoughts to the table.

“We don’t teach American History through the prism that we started out as a racist country and because we started out as a racist country, all of the institutions, the constitution, our laws, our economic policies, our social constructs are all racist,” Campbell said.