Education /

North Carolina School Board Votes on Controversial Policy Restricting the Instruction of Anti-American Sentiments

The policy is regarded by critics as part of a wider purge of Critical Race Theory

North Carolina Capitol Building / Wikimedia Commons / Chanilim714

A school board in North Carolina unanimously passed a strict measure prohibiting the teaching of anti-American sentiments.

The Johnston County school board voted to prohibit teachers from undermining the U.S. Constitution in lessons or from describing racism as a permanent part of American life. The measure also bars teachers from telling students that American historical figures were not heroes.

Failure to comply or violation of the revised Code of Ethics policy can result in disciplinary action “up to and including dismissal.”

The policy states, “Employees shall perform their jobs in a competent and ethical manner without violating either the public trust or applicable law, policies, and regulations. Instructional staff and other school system employees will not utilize methods or materials that would create division or promote animosity among students, staff and the community.”

The policy includes a description of human rights and calls for potentially controversial discussions (like those of a political nature) be oriented towards civil interaction and constructive solutions.

The Johnston County Board of Commissioners said it would withhold $7.9 million until a policy banning Critical Race Theory was passed. 

April Lee, president of the Johnston County Association of Educators and an 8th-grade social studies teacher, denounced the move in an interview. She equated the move to extortion and accused the school board of “selling our souls to the devil for $7.9 million.”

The subject of teaching Critical Race Theory has sparked protests at many school boards in Johnson County during previous months.

U.S. Representative Madison Cawthorn joined demonstrators at one event while  Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson published a document titled the Indoctrination in North Carolina Public Education Report on Aug. 24. 

While the report did not make any specific policy recommendations, it cataloged cases and materials used to promote left-leaning ideologies instructed in classrooms across the state. The task force received over 500 submissions, including fourth-graders being asked to read a book in which “the main character questions his own sexual identity and talks about removing his genitalia,” per The News & Observer

Robinson originally formed a task force to collect complaints from parents, teachers and students in March. 

“This is an attempt to stop the abuse of the teaching profession by a few who are using that profession to put undue pressure on young minds to accept their way of thinking,” Robinson said of the report at a news conference on Aug. 24.

According to the Charlotte Observer, “North Carolina schools have denied teaching Critical Race Theory. Instead, they’ve said they’re promoting equity and inclusion practices designed to help educate an increasingly diverse student enrollment. But critics say teachers and schools are promoting Marxist, anti-American values.”

The state’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill in September that was created to restrict the way some racial concepts are instructed by public school teachers.

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