In a Friday morning radio interview, State Superintendent Mark Johnson mocked allegations that someone at the Department of Public Instruction improperly monitored the personal text messages of former K-3 Literacy Director Carolyn Guthrie.
A screenshot of a text message sent by Guthrie is at the center of a months-long controversy over North Carolina’s K-3 reading assessment. The allegations hold that Guthrie neglected to unsync text message forwarding on her DPI-issued Apple laptop when she retired in September 2017 and that someone at DPI intercepted a text message she sent in January 2019. That text message was used by Johnson as grounds for cancelling a multimillion-dollar procurement process.
In the interview, Johnson mockingly referred to “my elite squad of ninjas” and “my DPI Spy Team” before claiming the accusations were nothing more than “the media and the bureaucracy just trying to throw anything they can at me and hoping it sticks.”
Dozens of people have filed public records requests this week for electronic device inventory logs which could help clarify who had Guthrie’s laptop after she retired.
You can hear Johnson’s comments below: