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JOHNSTON COUNTY, NC – The Johnston County school board of education in North Carolina voted at a public meeting on Friday to essentially reject teaching aspects of Critical Race Theory in their school district – limiting what their teachers are allowed to say to students in the classroom in regards to racism and the history of the United States – under pain of administration action, including potentially being fired.
“No fictional accounts or narratives shall be used to invalidate actual objective historical events,” the school board said in documents outlining the new rules. “All people who contributed to American Society will be recognized and presented as reformists, innovators, and heroes to our culture. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”
Critical Race Theory (CRT) – which wasn’t specifically mentioned by name in the board’s ruling – is a recently-developed and controversial school curriculum that teaches that racism is systemic in modern-day America and is a deeply-ingrained part of the country’s history.
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According to the Johnston County school board, teachers in their district are not allowed to discuss famous American historical figures in anything but a heroic light, are not allowed to disparage the Constitution of the United States, and they cannot say that America is racist or that racism is systemic in the modern day or in a historical context.
“Racism causes damage to individuals and the community. When racism is present, it creates a lack of trust and respect,” the school board’s document said. “No student or staff member shall be subjected to the notion that racism is a permanent component of American life.”
However, the school board stopped short of officially banning CRT by name in classrooms altogether, which they will be required to do in order to release approximately $8 million in funding that is currently being withheld from them by the Johnston County Board of Commissioners. The school board is denying that CRT is currently being taught in their district.