At its Monday meeting, the Cabarrus Board of Education unanimously adopted a “Resolution to Ensure Dignity and Nondiscrimination in Schools.”
The resolution notes that the board “recognizes the importance of diversity of backgrounds, opinions, and expression as foundational to providing students with the opportunity to receive a sound basic education” before stating that student learning should not result in any “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.”
The board’s action comes after North Carolina’s State Board of Education adopted new, more inclusive social studies standards which teach history from more diverse perspectives. Some language in the standards documents has resulted in charges that the standards teach that the United States is a racist nation and that news could be distressing for some of our children.
The Cabarrus resolution states that, while the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is responsible for standards, it’s up to the local school board to determine which curriculum is used to teach those standards.
You can watch the board and superintendent’s brief discussion of the resolution here.
As a teacher I feel it’s important to add that learning and growing as an individual involves discomfort. That’s an inherent part of the learning process.
This resolution isn’t really about ensuring that all students are treated with dignity in schools at all. It’s about ensuring that white students don’t learn that their country has a long history of systemic oppression towards people of color and a whole host of other traditionally marginalized groups.
After all, if you want to ensure that a system continues to center you and afford you every advantage possible, the first thing you’d do is squash any efforts aimed at teaching people that such inequity exists.
You can read the resolution below: