NC school board approves harsh repercussions for CRT teaching after threats to funding

Many state legislatures have made it their mission to attack the historical truth about our nation.

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North Carolina educators in Johnston County face disciplinary action or termination if they teach Critical Race Theory in the classroom. 

The UNC-Chapel Hill history department defines CRT as a “scholarly framework that describes how race, class, gender, and sexuality organize American life.”

It appears that the Johnston County Board of Commissioners wants teachers to push a narrative that white male historical figures were all heroes, along with the fantastical idea that racism is not embedded in the fabric of American culture. According to the anti-CRT movement, if white kids know the truth about their ancestors then they will hate being white.

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The board is withholding $7.9 million until the school board passes a policy banning CRT from county classrooms, The News and Observer reports. 

“When we all work together we can accomplish good things for kids, and this is one of those moments I truly believe has happened,” school board vice chairwoman Terri Sessoms said at Friday’s specially called virtual meeting.

The school board recently approved a revised Code of Ethics policy on how American history and white supremacy/racism will be taught.

Per the report, the new policy states that “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.” 

The policy warns educators that their failure to comply “will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”

“All people deserve full credit and recognition for their struggles and accomplishments throughout United States history,” the policy says.

“No employee of Johnston County Schools will make any attempt to discredit the efforts made by all people using foundational documents for reform,” according to the policy.

April Lee, a middle school social studies teacher and president of the Johnston County Association of Educators, has condemned the new policy. 

“It’s basically extortion,” Lee said in an interview. “They’re holding money hostage until they get a policy that is extreme enough for them to approve. We should all be angry about that.”

She said the school system is “selling our souls to the devil for $7.9 million.”

Republican obsession over CRT is harming Black students the most, theGrio previously reported.

Critical race theory has been portrayed as being an attack on our nation and attempts by those on the far political left to indoctrinate children. Texas Senator Ted Cruz called it “poison that is being poured into the minds of our kids” on a Fox News interview.

Many state legislatures have made it their mission to attack the historical truth about our nation.

Recently in Missouri this week, their legislature’s Joint Committee on Education held an extensive hearing on critical race theory. The hearing went for three hours and had over a half-dozen individuals testify. Shockingly, this legislative hearing about American history and race, did not have one Black student, parent, teacher, or education leader invited to provide testimony.

In Texas, the State Senate pass legislation that removes requirements that schools teach students that white supremacy is “morally wrong” and removes important historical documents, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From A Birmingham Jail” and “I Have A Dream” speech, from the list of historical documents required to be used in classrooms.

Back in July, White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged during a briefing that the U.S. is still plagued by “systemic racism” and it is “responsible” to teach about it in schools as part of critical race theory. 

Psaki was asked about President Joe Biden’s thoughts on the controversial topic by RealClearPolitics White House reporter Philip Wegmann. 

“Delegates at the National Education Association, they approved a measure last week calling for ‘the implementation of culturally responsive education, critical race theory, and ethnic studies curriculum in pre-K through 12 and higher education,” the reporter told Psaki and asked, “The president obviously is a huge fan of education, the first lady is a teacher, a union teacher. I’m wondering, what are the president’s thoughts on the anti-racism curriculum in the classroom?”

“The president believes that in our history, there are many dark moments. And there is not just slavery and racism in our history, there is systemic racism that is still impacting society today,” Psaki replied.

She went on to explain that “children should learn not just the good, but also the challenging in our history, and that’s part of what we’re talking about here, even as it’s become politically charged.”

This article contains additional reporting from theGRIO’s Haley Taylor Schlitz

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