NCDHHS Secretary says Union County Board of Education may face legal action if it doesn’t quarantine individuals exposed to COVID

North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen has requested that the Union County Board of Education rescind its recent motion eliminating COVID quarantine measures for most students and staff, noting that if Union County doesn’t take the step by 5 pm on Friday, September 17, it may face legal action.

First reported by WSOC’s Genevieve Curtis, Dr. Cohen’s letter notes that Union County’s 7-day case average for COVID is “more then five times above the CDC’s threshold for high level of transmission” and cautions that the board’s failure to adhere to state quarantine guidelines “places students, teachers, and staff, as well as those living in their households and communities, at significant risk of being infected with COVID-19.”

You can read Cohen’s letter in its entirety below:

Lincoln County school board prevents doctors from speaking at meeting, ends quarantines for COVID-exposed students and staff

One day after Union County’s Board of Education voted to stop quarantining students and staff who have been exposed to COVID unless they test positive or exhibit symptoms, Lincoln County has followed suit.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Lincoln County Board of Education denied two Atrium Health doctors the opportunity to address the board, then voted to rescind the school district mask mandate and stop following COVID quarantine protocols outlined in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Strong Schools Toolkit.

The meeting began with Chair Mark Mullen striking two speakers from the agenda: Dr. Inga Kish, a Shelby physician who specializes in Emergency Medicine, and Dr Elisabeth Stoffel who practices Family Medicine in Denver, NC.

The two physicians had presumably attended in order to offer insight on COVID safety but were prevented from doing so because of board policy requiring speakers to sign up several days before the meeting. Board discussion later in the meeting indicated the policy allowed for exceptions, but a motion to allow the physicians to speak had been voted down.

In addition to making masks optional in schools, a motion introduced by Vice Chair Heather Rhyne said the following:

“In regards specifically to COVID-19, effective immediately, unless a student or staff member is positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation, is symptomatic, or has been given a written quarantine order from the local health department, they should be on school campus.”

The motion passed 4-2.

Lincoln County’s move to make masks optional and end quarantines for most students and staff comes one day after the school district confirmed the death of 44 year-old Lincoln County Schools teacher and pastor Cruceta Jeffeirs.

Jeffeirs taught third grade at Battleground Elementary, and family members said her death was the result of complications from COVID-19.

According to the most recent CDC data, Lincoln County is currently experiencing high community COVID transmission with a positivity rate above 15%. Only 45.3% of eligible Lincoln County residents are fully vaccinated against the virus.

Update: Please note the following correction which was submitted by a reader and Lincoln County resident:

As COVID infections and quarantines soar among its students and staff, Union County clings stubbornly to optional masks

Positive cases of COVID and quarantines among students and staff are skyrocketing in Union County, where the board of education is growing increasingly isolated in its stubborn insistence that masks in school buildings remain a matter of personal choice.

Friday marked the end of the second week of school in Union County. When compared with the reported numbers from a week ago (1873 quarantined/176 positive), the number of students and staff confirmed as infected with the virus has more than doubled, and quarantines have nearly tripled.

In one week.

With 41,500 students enrolled, these new numbers mean a whopping 13% of Union County’s public school children are stuck at home, unable to attend in-person classes.

The reality may be even worse.

One Union County high school teacher told me that significant numbers of students in her classes were absent this entire week but not reported as positive or quarantined. Other educators from the county have indicated that the individual breakdowns for positive cases and quarantines for their schools being reported on the UCPS COVID dashboard are well below what they know them to be–in some cases because COVID-related staffing shortages are leading to lags in data collection.

Despite these alarming trends, Union County’s Board of Education continues to allow students and staff to go to school unmasked. It’s one of the very few North Carolina public school districts to do so, and it’s by far the largest.

As of today, 110 of 115 districts are requiring students and staff to wear masks when inside school buildings. The five where masks are optional are Avery, Onslow, Polk, Union and Yancey. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, vaccination rates in those six counties average a full ten points below the state average (48% vs. 58%).

The Union County board hasn’t officially discussed mask policy since August 18, when it ignored pleas by the county’s Public Health Director and Assistant Superintendent for a mask mandate and voted 7-2 to keep masks optional.

At that meeting, Board Chair Melissa Merrell characterized a presentation of spiking COVID metrics as inaccurate, claiming without any evidence that numbers were actually trending downward.

Merrell’s delusional approach to pandemic school policy does not inspire confidence in the many Union County parents that just want their children to be safe and healthy while attending school in person.

Strong leadership in this moment would look like setting personal politics aside, mustering up a little humility, listening to state and local health experts and taking their advice on masks.

Instead, it’s worth monitoring whether the Union County Board of Education’s next move is in exactly the opposite direction.

The Union County chapter of the astroturf group Moms For Liberty is chaired by Britney Bouldin, and it’s a group in which Melissa Merrell is an active participant.

Rather than calling for measures which would slow the spread of the virus, Bouldin and others in her group are beginning to push for quarantine guidelines to be relaxed.

Because everyone knows that the best way to put out a fire is by pouring gasoline on it…

Union County’s Board of Education next meets Tuesday, September 7. The board’s agenda for that meeting indicates that discussions of both quarantines and face coverings are planned.



Union County Board of Education rejects pleas of Public Health Director, keeps masks optional

At last night’s virtual emergency meeting, the Union County Board of Education received an update from staff which included alarming spikes in local COVID rates and pleas from the Public Health Director that the district require students and staff to wear masks in schools.

The board still voted 7-2 to keep masks optional.

Assistant Superintendent Jarrod McCraw presented the COVID update and informed the board about the following trends in Union County’s health:

Percent positivity rate:

June 18: 2.5%
August 18: 13.9%



New daily cases (7 day average):

June 18: 6.7/day
August 18: 125/day



5-18 year old age group:

July 18: 48 positive cases
July 25: 104 positive cases
August 1: 169 positive cases


McCraw also related his conversations with Union County Public Health Director Dennis Joyner, including Joyner’s strong recommendation that the district follow the face covering guidance in the NCDHHS Strong Schools toolkit, which he paraphrased as saying “All schools should require children and staff in schools K-12 to wear face coverings consistently when indoors. Schools should make masks universally required regardless of vaccination status.”

The assistant superintendent offered three reasons for asking the board to require masks. First, he cited public health concern over the increase in COVID numbers. Secondly, he mentioned that it would reduce the number of students having to miss school because of quarantine. Finally, he said masking would reduce the amount of time school nurses had to devote to contact tracing and allow them to focus on general health and wellness.

Board chair Melissa Merrell said it was her understanding that COVID numbers were actually trending downward. She expressed confusion over McCraw’s request that masks be required, saying that the number of children who were infected with the virus didn’t represent a significant number of overall cases:

“We’re in the business of educating students. And those students, we’ve been looking at ages 5-18, and that’s only 14% of this, you know, in your words not mine, trending upward.”

The board then entered closed session. Upon returning, a motion was made by board member John Kirkpatrick to heed district and health department recommendations and begin the year with students masked. The motion failed 7-2 with only Joe Morreale and Kirkpatrick supporting it.

In addition to rejecting the advice of its county health director, the board’s decision ignores the cautionary tale offered by Union Academy, a 2000-student charter school in Union County which began the school year July 26 with a mask policy that essentially made them optional.

The school was immediately hit with a COVID outbreak which forced hundreds of students to miss classes due to quarantine. Masks are now required at Union Academy.

Union County’s choice also bucks a recent local trend, with Gaston County and Cabarrus County–both similarly conservative boards–reversing decisions this week and electing to require masks.

When schools open on Monday, August 23, Union County Public Schools 41,500 students and 5,000 staff members will make it the largest district in the state to allow individuals to go unmasked in buildings.

NC Superintendent opposes Duke scientists’ recommendations on masks in schools

Just weeks after touting the group’s report on 2020-21 COVID spread in NC schools, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Schools Catherine Truitt has come out in stark opposition to the ABC Collaborative’s recommendations on masking for the upcoming school year, saying, “I want students in school this fall, unmasked.”

The ABC Collaborative is a group of National Institutes of Health-funded North Carolina scientists and physicians, primarily from Duke University, who are working to advise school leaders on COVID-safe practices.

At the end of June the group released a report on COVID mitigation measures in NC schools during the 2020-21 school year, finding the schools “did an outstanding job preventing within-school transmission of COVID‐19.”

Superintendent Truitt released a statement citing the group’s report as evidence that schools could successfully operate during the pandemic and advocating for local control over operational decisions such as masking.

But Truitt abandoned her call for local decision making on masks in a recent conversation with NC GOP Chairman Michael Watley, calling on all North Carolina school districts to take the masks off:

Today the co-chairs of the ABC Collaborative, Dr. Kanecia Zimmerman and Dr. Danny Benjamin, published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “We studied one million students. This is what we learned about masking.”

In the piece, Zimmerman and Benjamin cite universal masking as a “close second” behind vaccination as the best way to prevent COVID-19, warning “If we send students to school without masks, we increase their risk of acquiring COVID-19. Some could suffer illness or die.”

After pointing to recent outbreaks of the virus among unmasked, unvaccinated youth, the scientists asked:

“With the evidence now clear that universal masking is linked to lower spread, why not require universal masking? Why seek to gather hundreds of unvaccinated, unmasked individuals in an enclosed space for several hours a day, five days a week?”

It’s a question North Carolina Superintendent of Schools Catherine Truitt needs to answer.

Antimaskers “overthrow” Buncombe County Board of Education over K-12 mask mandate

You might think you know just how far off the rails the science-denying antimask crowd has gone in its efforts to ensure that students in North Carolina’s schools do not have to take common sense safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID.

You’d be wrong.

At an August 5 meeting where the Buncombe County Board of Education had just voted 4-2 to require masks in schools, audience members launched their own mini-January 6 insurrection, choosing new “board members,” and holding a new vote on the mask issue.

The bizarre charade was orchestrated by a woman identified by the Asheville Citizen-Times as Stephanie Parsons. In the tirade that preceded the “coup,” Parsons claimed the figure of 48% unvaccinated in Buncombe County meant 48% of the population did not agree with the mask mandate. She added that the North Carolina Constitution states “if you are not happy with the government that you are to abolish it,” then went on to unilaterally elect a new board via a method called “whoever is crazy enough to stand up and come down here is elected.”

The new “board” unanimously decided masks would be optional.

You can watch the entire surreal episode below:

Cabarrus Board of Education Vice Chair blames pandemic on COVID-infected “illegal aliens”

Just when you think the Cabarrus Board of Education can’t lower its bar any further…

At tonight’s meeting, Vice Chair Tim Furr blamed the ongoing COVID pandemic on infected “illegal aliens” who are being allowed in by our government and sent all over the United States on buses.

Furr’s racist comments, which are transcribed and captured in video below, were interrupted by an incredulous Keshia Sandidge, who asked, “Are we serious right now? Are we serious right now?” before being admonished by board chair Holly Grimsley.

Furr’s rant:

Until this government keeps illegal aliens by the thousands coming across that border without masks, with COVID, putting ’em on buses, sending ’em all over the United States, we’re just beating our heads against the wall.  Because these numbers are gonna continue to rise, and we’re gonna be having this same discussion day after day and week after week.

Most powerful politician in North Carolina encourages people to ignore CDC mask guidance as COVID infections skyrocket

Yesterday North Carolina’s powerful Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger sent a fundraising email to his supporters. The subject line? “CDC issues new guidelines to ignore.”

Berger’s message came a day after the Center for Disease Control updated its mask recommendations in the face of an alarming spike in COVID infections, suggesting among other things that vaccinated people wear masks “in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission” of the virus.

The same day Berger encouraged North Carolinians to ignore mask guidance, 2,633 new cases and a percent positivity rate of 10.8 were reported for the state–the highest number of cases in a single day since February.

Berger’s email suggested that masking guidelines should be treated with the same disregard as recommendations against eating raw cookie dough.

As of Wednesday COVID had killed 611,708 people in the United States.

I was unable to find data on the number of deaths from raw cookie dough.

Mecklenburg plaintiffs who lost school reopening lawsuit forced to pay NCAE attorney’s fees

Five plaintiffs who sued the Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators (CMAE) in September 2020 over COVID-related school building closures have been ordered by a Mecklenburg County Superior Court judge to pay $11,620 in attorney’s fees incurred by CMAE/NCAE while defending the suit.

The lawsuit claimed that NCAE members’ advocacy for remote instruction during the pandemic constituted a violation of North Carolina state law prohibiting strikes, defined in law as “a cessation or deliberate slowing down of work.” It said “NCAE has coordinated a deliberate slowing down of work of CMS by way of denying and/or delaying Active Instruction to CMS Students.”

In the likely event that you didn’t follow that absurd logic, plaintiffs were arguing that educators speaking during public comments at a board meeting and then board members voting to open in Plan C amounted to an unlawful strike.

The suit was dismissed in March 2021, but North Carolina law also allows for the prevailing party to be awarded attorney’s fees in the event of “a complete absence of a justiciable issue of either law or fact raised by the losing party in any pleading.”

In other words, if you waste other people’s time and money by pursuing legal action that clearly has no chance of winning, you are financially responsible for that terrible decision.

Judge Karen Eady-Williams’ order, which you can read in its entirety below, notes that the law expressly permits NCAE and its members “to advocate for workplace safety in the manner alleged in the Complaint” and that the plaintiff’s allegation that NCAE had violated the state constitution was legally insufficient because nonprofit organizations are not state actors.

I’m grateful for the efforts of NCAE’s legal team in standing up for the rights of its members and successfully arguing for the dismissal of this frivolous suit.  There has never been a better time to join NCAE than right now.  For any North Carolina educators who are interested, please feel free to reach out to me for more information, or visit this link.  

Signed-Order-on-Fees

“I guess she had the right skin color.” Complaints to Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s indoctrination portal dominated by white racial resentment

Last week Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger unveiled an updated version of HB 324, a law entitled “Ensuring Dignity and Nondiscrimination in Schools.”

Among other things, the bill would make it illegal for teachers to promote feelings of racial discomfort and would require schools to prominently post information about diversity training on their websites for public review.

Speaking in support of the legislation, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson said he would soon be releasing a report detailing public school indoctrination complaints submitted through his Fairness and Accountability in the Classroom for Teachers and Students (F.A.C.T.S.) website as evidence of why HB 324 is necessary.

I suspect Robinson’s report will cherry pick a handful of isolated complaints (probably including his ego-bruising account where a child was allegedly not allowed to write a report about him) and attempt to portray them as a widespread problem requiring legislative action.

I also suspect Robinson doesn’t want you to know about the submissions I’m publishing below, which I obtained from his office through a public records request.

Many of the 506 complaints to Robinson’s task force come from North Carolinians who appear deeply concerned about what they perceive as a move away from a white Christian-centered system of public education.

These submissions include recommendations to cancel Black History Month, pleas to stop making white students feel guilty by teaching so much about slavery–which one individual remarked “is getting old”–and suggestions to end hiring practices aimed at increasing diversity of school staff.

They provide a helpful lens to understand the real motivation behind moves across the country to restrict classroom discussions on race and various types of oppression under the false pretense of fighting the boogeyman “critical race theory.”

While the outward tactics and messaging of this movement may be a bit more subtle than in years past, its underlying sentiment feels very familiar.

I’ve transcribed the submissions for your reading convenience but have also included screenshots of the originals for corroboration purposes.

14:

...since parents are helping teach at home now, just a few weeks ago my wife was helping my daughter with a Social Studies assignment.  As they were reading out loud, I was appalled at how they were portraying white people in history.

In my mind, just about every race of people throughout history has been guilty of murder, coercion, deceit, killing for gains, wars, etc. etc.  Now I’m not saying that’s right or good!  NO - it’s not!  However, after hearing what was being read I almost felt bad for being born of European decent which was completely out of my control.

I waited until the next day, when I had a chance to chat with my wife before addressing my (now) 7th grader at Ligon Middle.  We tried to put things in context, and explain to her that issues with war and slavery, etc., have been issues since biblical times and before.

46:

Hello, Hope all is well.
In listening to your speech, which I loved and support your cause.  I presently have daughter in H.S. And am very concerned about her education.  However, with in your speech I found the root of the problem.  You brought up an example of indoctrination in the school system.  A student who wanted to write a report on you for Black History month.  This would never had happened if their was no such thing as Black History Month.  By celebrating only one specific group of people is biased and singling out only one group of people that does not represent all children.  Their are to many ethnic groups in this country and to few months in a year to designate a month to only one group of people.  By removing Black History Month from the curriculum and replace and allowing the children to focus on their own ethnic background should solve this particular problem.

80:

I’m a grandparent, and employer of parents with school age children.  I will tell you that what I am told is going on in schools today is a huge problem.  Be aware that the parents often will not publicly come forward b/c of repercussions.  Specifically, I have been told of a middle school class being taught the virtues of homosexuality by their lesbian teacher.  In Raleigh, my grandchildren’s neighborhood public school’s quality is deteriorating daily by parents pulling their children out and going to private schools b/c the curriculum agenda being pushed down by county and state school boards.  This has lead to a mighty teary number of weeks as my daughter and husband try to figure out how they can afford to do what is best for their children and move to the private school sector.  BTW, why has an obviously agenda focused racist person like (Dr.) Ford been placed on the important NC Education Board?

154:

When my daughter was in elementary school they held a "holiday" musical performance at Christmas time. They performed a Hunakkah song...a few other songs from other parts of the world related to the holiday season and then Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...As a Christian we were highly offended at the zero reference to Jesus...they clearly went completely out of their way to keep any and all of the dozens of traditional Christ related songs out of the show...it was completely offensive and Christians where the ONLY ones slighted because it's known that we are respectful people who follow the rules and don't look for every chance to scream our heads off about injustices such as these...Jesus has been the reason for the season for 200 years in this country and it's my belief that because we were one Nation formed under God that we were so blessed for those 200 years...now we are nothing more that highly entitled rag tag groups of "individuals" and look what is happening to us!?!?!?! I feel like I'll never see another great Christian man like GW Bush in the oval office again and I am only 47...this holiday performance was several years ago and people did complain later...all this lead to was all future performances being cancelled which really isn't a solution at all. When Obama was in office our daughter came home ever other week talking about how great his policies were...per her teacher...this has never happened with any other President...so I question the fairness of classroom discussion such as these as well. Thanks

182:

My son's ELA teacher has been talking about slavery since they came back from Christmas break. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with talking about it, but there are other topics she could be discussing. She has been talking about Frederick Douglas and he seemed like a good person, also a Republican from what I've read online because of course every body thinks Republicans were all for slavery, because slave owners were white. An article she had them read and so far has just been one, referred back to 1619 and I was really upset about this. Another person she discussed was a Hispanic named Chavez, and in reading the passage about him it basically made Republicans sound like they hated Hispanics. One thing that has been good about kids being at home is parents can actually see what is being taught. I know these kids are tired of hearing about the same thing over and over and I'm not sure what the teacher thinks she is accomplishing, especially when kids ,hopefully go back in the fall somewhat normal. Everyone knows how bad slavery was, but hearing about it for months now, is getting old. I dont hear any of these teachers talking about Hitler and how he tried to take out a whole race of people! Nor have I heard this teacher once say that blacks in Africa were the ones selling others into slavery. If I could afford Christian school my kids would definitely be there. I wish i liked homeschooling and my kids enjoyed being homeschooled but they dont.

208:

My daughter was raised with sound biblical values (the Golden Rule, etc), but just 3 short years public school turned her into a full-blown socialist. She graduated about 15 years ago; but, even to this day, I cannot have a rational conversation with her regarding anything significant. The indoctrination and hate-mongering has gotten worse in our society. You see it everywhere. In EVERY classroom we need to remove or discourage socialism, critical race theory (etal), and anything else that promotes socialistic indoctrination (Marxism) and hatred. Or, at the very least, teach the Constitution, and the freedoms it espouses, in a positive light. Teach both sides. My daughter will not tell me any specific incidents (as a true socialist would not do); but, the fruit of public education STINKS. ****WE NEED SCHOOL CHOICE NOW!!**** That is, I should be able to send my child to a school that does not teach socialism, but teaches values consistent with my own. Thank you for asking!

273:

In my sons 7th grade ELA class the teacher was teaching from slides. My son showed me the slide and screenshot it and sent it to me. It showed the following lessons: Racism, white supremacy, oppression, white privilege, color blindness, and ethnocentrism; with descriptions of each. One by one, the brown kids in class started speaking up and saying that they are discriminated against all the time because they are brown. Sadly, this is what these teachers in Wake county are doing making the white kids feel inferior and the brown kids feel like everything that happens in their life is about their skin color. It's creating a huge divide in the middle schools. I see it first hand, the kids are afraid to befriend kids of different skin colors because of what the school is teaching. I am in possession of this PowerPoint slide and I would love to share it with you. Also in the 6th and 7th grade classes the teachers are playing CNN for 15 minutes at the start of social studies. And during election time, I could hear the kids on the Chromebook chanting "Biden, Biden, Biden". This issue is ongoing, getting worse. The teachers say they are told the curriculum they have to teach by Wake County.

329:

Hello LT Governor Robinson,

First off, I want to thank you for all the great work you’re doing and setting up this form for accountability in our state.  We deliberately moved to the great state of North Carolina to escape the destruction the Democratic Party had done to our home states (PA and MA).  Today I dropped off my daughter at her school, Highland Mills Montessori, a magnet school part of the Charlotte Mecklenburg School district.  Apparently the school has a “Black Lives Matter'' mural at the entrance.  First off, I am wondering why a public, tax-funded school is able to engage in politics, especially with young children.  Second, my daughter has asked why her life does not matter and others’ lives do.  It’s a hard thing to explain - what else can I say to her besides the truth - society today only believes certain peoples’ lives matter, based on skin color alone, and that she is not eligible?  I really do not trust the school with my daughter since they do not value her based on the messaging they have.  I am so appalled that this is allowed at a public school that I eagerly want to put her into a private school but cannot afford it.  If there is anything you and your office can do to help I would greatly appreciate it - even if it’s expanding school choice in our state.

378:

I am a preschool teacher in Charlotte, NC.  I know this site is for K-12, but I wasn’t sure what else to do or where else to turn.  I’m hoping my concern will find the appropriate ear.  As a requirement for continuing education, I attended a Conference through Child Care Resources Inc. (CCRI).  The title sounded harmless:  “Courageous Conversations:  Teaching for Change in Early Childhood Classrooms”.  It was a class on critical race theory!  I am devastated to discover that our trusted source for training early educators is now training North Carolina PRESCHOOL teachers on communism!!  They are planning on furthering this topic with a “deeper dive” called “From Courageous Conversations to Culturally Affirming Early Childhood Classrooms” “on May 19th via ZOOM 6:30 - 8:30pm.  Please help us stop communism from infecting our youngest children!!  What more can I do to help stop communism in my community?

379:

Indoctrination of our children.  This country was and hopefully will be foundered on christian believes.  Not this fables of socicalism.  That through out history has caused mass mureder!  Mass genocide!  This form of government can only suicide with a god fearing people.  
Whoa to those that lead our children away from the truth.  Whoa unto the decivers of iniquity!!  Do not be deceived !!

390:

Hi Mr. Robinson,

My son attends Grace Christian School.  During Chapel two weeks ago the entire was spent teaching kids of terms such as micro-aggression and macro-aggression.  Black students were speaking and talking about how they are treated differently due to their race and how they must act differently when approached by police officers.  The Chapel concluded with a follow up discussion to go over what students felt about the chapel session.  They were asked if they felt they had experienced micro-aggression or had secret feelings of micro-aggression towards others of other races, particularly the black race.  When I and other parents approached we were told that we were a minority that felt strongly against this teaching.  We explained that this is not comparable to the word of God and that this is not ok.  We are all created out of the image of God and that no man was greater than the other.  Please help us.  Many are too afraid to stand and confront this issue.  We need help!  If this happens to our Christian Schools we are in deeper trouble than we could ever imagine.  This ideology is from Satan to further divide us.  I am afraid as to what this is doing to our churches, our schools, and our communities.  Please help us!  We need someone to come to our school to speak to the head master, [redacted] as well as staff members.  I am begging you!!

415:

My kids attend a charter school, Union Academy, in Monroe, NC. A parent survey was sent out a couple weeks ago and one page of the survey was nothing but diversity, equity, and inclusion questions. They asked if my kids would benefit from a more diverse staff, etc. Of course my answer was no, they would benefit from qualified teachers and staff. This got my agitated so I spoke at the board meeting (and sent a follow up email)...nothing. I made it clear that myself and (other parents I had spoken with were too scared to speak up) were not happy with this and the Critical Race Theory the state passed. 

When I left the head master, [redacted], said he had not heard of CRT. A week later he sent a letter to the entire school that a Head of Curriculum and Inclusion position had been created and [redacted] would be in this position. She is a middle school counselor, not a teacher or even deals with the curriculum, but I guess she had the right skin color.

435:

As a high school teacher, a parent of grown children and a grandmother of two, I am extremely concerned about the direction education is going. I can no longer be a caring teacher of all children, no matter the color of the skin. I have to listen to training that tells me I am a racist when I am not. I have to allow George Floyd to to glorified even by the superintendent. I understand what happen was totally wrong but he was a criminal too and not someone children should look up to.
I now have to worry about how I address my students using pronouns that don’t even fit is a sentence correctly. Example: please go over to “they’s” table and see they’s work. Because I cannot address all children as she, he, her or his plus I am not expected to do it in front of parents. As a parent that is wrong. These children are not ours they have parents and the parents that want to be involved should know what is going on at school. They have no idea what they are really learning.
We now have a black History course which is great but in a meeting had to listen to the teacher tell us his class was the only class the students felt safe in. That was an insult to all of us because we are all loving teachers.
We don’t do this for the money. I think of each child as our future.
I know this has been a tough year for all of us but I have never been a racist and am insulted when I am treated like I am. It is the narrative present in this country right now and I get that. I love you and your message. I like that you are concerned about what is going on in schools because I am too. I have watched it change over the years. I am concerned about the future leaders of our country because they think this is who we are as humans.  
I am fine with who anyone decides they want to love and understand totally not everyone love’s the opposite sex. It isn’t that at all. I want to be a teacher and worry about how best to educate a child. Life for a child is confusing enough. We as teachers now have to watch everything we say and everything we do worried that someone will perceive us wrong. I had no idea that saying “ Y’all” is racist. I am on the Care and Equity team for SIT team and just found that out. I am born and raised in N.C. and that was born in my vocabulary. I am not the same teacher now. I don’t talk to them like I use to because I am fearful. All it takes is one child to take something wrong or make something up. Our word means nothing. Respect went out the window and the students know it.
I just want to teach my class, love all my students equally even the one that drive me crazy. It has made me fearful to speak and I think of my every word. I went back to school at 43 to become a teacher because I wanted to give something back as an artist. I am 5 year away from 20 years for retirement and that seems like forever right now. I hate I ever left graphic art because I don’t feel valued by this state. I will continue to do the best for my students because that is why I became a teacher but something needs to change. I have too many years in to stop but I want so much to be done. As a parent and a grandmother I don’t want my family attending public school now and that is really saying something because my mother was a teacher, and my sister is a teacher in public school. I don’t trust the values being taught all because of the political views. It was fine in our county to talk about Biden but not for anyone else. I never talk politics anyway but it was very evident who was allowed to speak and who were silenced.
I pray you can do something to fix what is going on so I can continue to believe in what I do. Please keep my letter private because I don’t want to lose my job so I can still get my retirement but I couldn’t just sit back and act like what is happening is okay. Thank you for you time

437:

Lt.Governor Robinson, et al,
I watched the video on Facebook of the student assaulted in a classroom in Guilford County. I’m sure appropriate action will be taken in this case.
However, using simple troubleshooting questioning of “cause and affect” this is not a cause, it is an affect.
Face it, we spent astronomical amounts of tax dollars trying to provide public education to everyone seeking it. Yet, schools, most schools, have a percentage of their student body present who will not follow the law, disrupt, peddle drugs, threaten violence against fellow students and teachers and are just, general pains in the tail for any society to deal with.
What good are graduation rates if a typical student completes 13 years of public education, with fewer skills and less knowledge than the average student did three or four decades back?
Why can’t we get those who demonstrate that they really don’t want, or don’t deserve to be in school out? Why waste resources and time on them? Why allow them to intimidate teachers and students who need to teach
and learn? What, exactly, do we think we’re gaining by keeping them there?
The viability of public education is really being questioned by folks who value education for their children. My son in Virginia has two daughters, still toddlers, but looks at the prospects of where to school them with dread. Working class families like us, the products of public education, will be hard pressed to afford a private education for our children. But, seeing the decline of our public schools, it may be a pill that we are forced to swallow. When most of folks like us are gone to other options like private schools, home schooling, charter schools, etc., you’re going to be left with
“Thug School”.
It breaks my heart to see what we’ve allowed to happen to public education.
Newsflash, it’s not unreasonable to make people shut up and behave. It’s not unreasonable to require that they meet a minimum standard of literacy, math skills, science knowledge, history knowledge and conduct.
Do we really want a school system that mirrors what they have in inner-city school systems in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, or Los Angeles here in NC?
It appears that’s where we’re headed.
I appreciate that Lt. Governor Robinson started this task force. It’s a step in the right direction. My guess is that federal involvement is at the heart of the mismanagement problems of our schools…like everything else they touch. But, we can solve a lot of these issues ourselves - and not by throwing money at them, but by simply separating those who want to be there, from those who don’t.
Sorry to be long-winded.
May God bless what you are trying to do.

462:

My son was taken from an elective this year and told he was now required to take a class called the Human Experience. It was taught by a {redacted} at Middle Creek High School. Although I was not able to sit in an observe this class, he was taking the class virtually so I would stand outside of the room and listen as the teacher instructed. The class almost entirely was concerning the racism in the state of North Carolina. I heard him speak about changing the name of schools because they were named after slave owners, that the New & Observer was started by racist slave persons. The classes final project was to take action that would change the world. My son is not a political person and told the teacher he was going to do his on providing food to homeless. The teacher told him that isn't world changing. My son said I know he wants me to do a political action but I don't care if my grade suffers at this point I am not doing it. This class is very much skewed to the left and to teach these kids to focus on the ugly past of NC. I am so glad he is out of this class and if I had any idea at the beginning of the semester what this class was about I would have forced the school to take him out.

I just want you to be aware of this class and its existence in case other parents reach out to you too.

Thank you for all you are doing to help our state!

493:

The recently approved Glossary for the new Social Studies Standards have reintroduced the words "systemic racism" under the definition of "racism". These were the words that were removed from the standards as they were deemed too divisive. Systemic Racism is part of Critical Race Theory which has no place in our schools. Below is the link to the meeting agenda where the PDF of the newly approved Glossary can be seen. Thank you.