The Johnston County school board in North Carolina unanimously approved a policy on Friday to prevent what conservatives are calling “Critical Race Theory,” but is really just American history, from being taught in its classrooms. The school board updated language concerning how race and history are taught after city commissioners threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding if a strict policy wasn’t passed.
Let’s stop here for some friendly reminders:
Critical Race Theory isn’t about pitting Black people against white people. It is an academic concept that uses race as a lens to understand social constructs and is not taught in kindergarten through high school education.
Racists hate Critical Race Theory because it supports the undeniable fact that structural racism persists where it is not properly addressed politically, economically and socially.
Now, here’s more on the policy from the Associated Press:
A revised code of ethics policy includes new wording such as “the United States foundational documents shall not be undermined,” and “all people who contributed to American Society will be recognized and presented as reformists, innovators and heroes to our culture.”
April Lee, president of the Johnston County Association of Educators and an eighth-grade social studies teacher, said the school system is “selling our souls to the devil for $7.9 million.” She also said the new policy is “basically extortion.”
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The policy bars Johnston County teachers from saying that racism is a permanent part of American life. It also places limits on how civil disobedience is addressed in order for students “to foster positive relationships” with their local government agencies. If they violate the rules, then teachers can face discipline and even be fired, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.
In June, the all-Republican Board of Commissioners threatened to withhold almost $8 million in funding and so the school board made revisions to its code of ethics.
From News & Observer:
In July, the school board responded with revisions to the code of ethics policy saying that “instructional staff and other school system employees will not utilize methods or materials that would create division or promote animosity amongst students, staff and the community.”
The updated July policy also said “staff shall not teach social theories outside of the North Carolina standards of any kind to students.”
However, the commissioners still weren’t happy until the most recent changes. The commission approved the funds for the school board at a meeting on Monday.
The war on Critical Race Theory in North Carolina ramped up in August when Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson released a report full of complaints and accusations that teachers were indoctrinating students with CRT and opinions on sociopolitical issues. According to AP, last month, Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill proposed by Republican lawmakers that was meant to define how race and sociopolitical ideas are taught in public schools across the state.