Anti-racism education was a focus of a Monday night Waterloo Region District School Board meeting.

A trustee's request for board staff to explain the working definition of Critical Race Theory and white privilege, and how they relate to developing anti-racism lesson plans, has been voted down almost unanimously.

"Help me to understand how a conscious decision to put forward this motion under the guide of CRT can be acceptable to this community," said delegate Pam Mounsey. "We vehemently oppose."

Public delegates spoke to trustees before the vote and argued the motion was not a way to advance anti-racism education.

"I would ask for this motion to be denied," said Amanda Brijpaul. "Let's not bring these political games and dog whistles into the world of our children. Let's move forward, not backwards."

Trustee Cindy Watson said her request was based on concerns from parents and what she called the potential for lesson plans to create a stigma or bias among the school population.