Op-Ed: Critical Race Theory And School Board Accountability

Op-Ed By: Terry Tippett

After attending the County Commissioner meeting Monday evening, I felt the need to address a few issues. I have been asked for my opinion on some things recently. I don’t participate in discussions on social media, although I do read some comments and others share things with me.

Since running for the Board of Education (BOE) in 2020, I have received questions and comments from different stakeholders and they have increased since some know I will be a candidate in the 2022 race.

First, I remain humbled that over 40,000 of my fellow Johnstonians voted for me in 2020 and a large group supported me when a vacancy opened on the Board recently-which played a role in offering to be your voice on your Board in 2022.

The Critical Race Theory is obviously the hot topic at this time. The difficulty is that it is so broad in context and there is no document stating “CRT Activities for the Week” or “CRT Training Professional Development for the Month”. Therefore, we must look at the specific activities to determine their purpose and objectives, as well as the result and consequences of these activities.

For the record, I do not support CRT in the public school, or religious institutions for that matter. This does not mean history should not be taught-simply taught without divisive commentary. It is my belief that some portions of CRT are being introduced in JCPS, whether through professional development or through the Equity/SEL umbrella that are divisive in nature. There have been numerous examples presented to confirm this.

The argument is made that the professional development is for staff, however, in my time as a teacher, the professional development was to assist staff in the classroom in some manner. I never needed theories or projects or Equity training in order to provide a level playing field for my students. I simply understood that every student deserved the chance to be successful and given the opportunity to do so with whatever assistance they needed to guarantee that level playing field, at which time the student has the opportunity to control the outcome-regardless of race, sex, disability, or socioeconomic level.

There is no explanation needed for success or failure when provided a level playing field-simply an understanding that success results from the work to achieve.

The response of the BOE in this manner is a perfect example of my statements regarding the need for the Board to have a more hands-on approach. Based on the request/demand to develop a policy, the Board presented an existing policy and wording to attach as an amendment. I recognize that this was an effort to comply quickly and was done in good faith. However, for such a divisive topic, I believe all would agree that a separate policy should exist.

This leads to my contention that had the Board been proactive and operated with a more hands-on approach, a policy could have been in place by now-since it is apparent that the Board is in agreement that CRT should not be in the school system, as evidenced by their willingness to amend an existing policy to meet the request of the commissioners and acquire the total funding request.

The problem arises when different messages are presented. Chairman Sutton and Dr. Bracy were adamant that CRT is not in JCPS, but Vice Chairwomen Sessoms shared that staff training modules were being removed and reviewed after being questioned. I am sure that the discrepancy could be related to my earlier statement that CRT is so broad, nevertheless, it gives mixed messages to the stakeholders and makes it appear that the effort is based on funding and not the issue at hand.

Finally, the next question is who determines if the policy is not followed and the consequences for not following it. I believe this should be addressed by the Board during their policy development stage.

The other issue I want to address is accountability of the Board Of Education. There are methods in place throughout the school system to evaluate and hold employees accountable. Every employee’s work performance is examined by someone-all the way to the Superintendent. However, it seems the buck stops at the Board of Education, at least until now.

I know many will say the voters are the ones who determine the accountability of the Board during election years (that’s a topic for another day). After listening to the commissioners Monday night, especially Commissioner Smith and Commissioner Wood, it seems that they are giving expectations to the Board. I don’t have a problem in their holding the BOE accountable, just as the BOE holds the Superintendent accountable.

BOE members are responsible for the success or failure of the JCPS system, thus the need for a more hands-on approach. Students, staff, and all county stakeholders deserve a quality public education system. Sadly, our students have paid the price for a less than top notch system.

The future of JCPS is in the balance. We have to make drastic improvements or we will see an increase in the availability of charter and private schools, as well as an increase in home school options. While some are okay with that, they fail to understand that many people leaving are some of the biggest volunteers we have.

I know firsthand how JCPS was 20 years ago and how it was two years ago. I also know the resources – both human and facility – are in place to return to the top, depending on the direction the leadership takes us, as local elections have consequences also.

Terry Tippett is a retired Johnston County Schools exceptional children’s teacher, athletic director and coach, 2020 school board candidate, and 2022 candidate for the Johnston County Public School Board.

(Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted Tuesday morning by Mr. Tippett but due to time constraints could not be processed and published until Wednesday morning.)

20 COMMENTS

  1. Tippett should already be on the board! I sure hope that he gets on there in 2022 and other qualified, like minded individuals also run for the BOE. Bracy and Sutton lie about CRT not being in our system. Like Mr Tippett stated, this topic is broad and the things being used in JCPS might not be labeled “CRT” but what is being presented to teachers and pushed on us is CRT. I recently heard about 2 teachers in JCPS resigning….. and while there may be other reasons while they left education…. CRT and the horrible condition of public education were 2 of the main reasons. There needs to be MAJOR changes or there will be no one left to teach our students.

    • Whatever you’re referring to is both not LABELED as CRT and is actually NOT Critical Race Theory.

      You hearing about, “2 teachers in JCPS resigning…..” and then attempting to make the connection to CRT is pretty silly, honestly.

      • You are wrong. I am referring to 2 teachers that I personally know… and yes, both of them had to sit in training sessions that dealt material related to CRT. Their overall disgust with JCPS is what pushed them out…. but CRT material and the obvious direction that public education curriculum is going also helped them decide to leave. People need to realize that teachers are leaving at a record pace…, the government and the county need to address issues or there will be no teachers. I hear people say that teachers are just whining, teachers already get paid too much, etc.. If the job is that easy and pays so great, then we should have plenty of people entering the profession., but that is not the case. Almost no one wants to be a “teacher”!! We have people that would be great teachers, but they do not want to deal with all the B.S. from the government and the county. No one wants to be controlled by politically charged agendas.

  2. Wise words Mr. Tippett… Thank You!

    Since CRT is poorly defined and purposely ambiguous, here bullet-point summary for those who wish to know:

    Critical Race Theory…

    -Believes racism is present in every aspect of life, every relationship, and every interaction and therefore has its advocates look for it everywhere

    -Relies upon “interest convergence” (white people only give black people opportunities and freedoms when it is also in their own interests) and therefore doesn’t trust any attempt to make racism better

    -Is against free societies and wants to dismantle them and replace them with something its advocates control

    -Only treats race issues as “socially constructed groups,” so there are no individuals in Critical Race Theory
    believes science, reason, and evidence are a “white” way of knowing and that storytelling and lived experience are a “black” alternative, which hurts everyone, especially black people

    -Rejects all potential alternatives, like colorblindness, as forms of racism, making itself the only allowable game in town (which is totalitarian)

    -Acts like anyone who disagrees with it must do so for racist and white supremacist reasons, even if those people are black (which is also totalitarian)

    -Cannot be satisfied, so it becomes a kind of activist black hole that threatens to destroy everything it is introduced into

  3. Simple question from a parent debating whether to continue homeschooling or not – will CRT be taught in Johnston County Schools? A simple yes or no without all the political jargon will suffice. Why can’t we get an answer?

    • From a parent who also homeschools, I wouldn’t trust any answer provided as that can change on a dime. The state board of ed has written guidelines for integrating it so to ke that’s good enough to keep my kid at home.

  4. Homeschool your kiddos. The democrats, progressives, and elitist intellectual leftist commies have gone full derp. I repeat, THEY’VE GONE FULL DERP! 🤪

    K., You hit the nail on the head “CRT’s strength is in its inherent ambiguity. Nothing associated with CRT is ever “labeled” as CRT.”

    Whenever CRT is discussed and debated anything true about CRT that they notice doesn’t sit well with John Q. Public the left’s puppets come out the woodwork blathering nonsense like “well that’s not what CRT is!” Blah blah blah, silly racist puppets. We see you and we’re going to continue to call you out.

    The left’s racist fragility is on full display.

    • Name-calling… okay…. I have no idea why people are afraid of discussing systemic racism. The effects of redlining, lynching, Manifest Destiny, Reaganomics and the specific targeting via drug policies? What history are you banning the discussion of?

      • Stop. Just stop. The left has so many names and made up phobias for conservatives and anyone else who refuses to agree with them, LOL they make me sick.

        Typical leftist, “Don’t call us names!😭😭😭😭 Boo hoo! 😭😭😭😭” Meanwhile you label everyone under the sun with the most vitriolic and derogatory terms who doesn’t agree with your and the LGBTQIA/Anti-America mafia. Hypocritical children.

        Yeah, If you can’t take the heat get out the kitchen. #FeliciaBYE

        Systemic racism isn’t real in America in 2021. Systemic Fascism however is, thanks to poorly educated leftists, like yourself 😘.

        If you know American history you’ll know Democrats are responsible for the death and destruction of more black and minority groups than any other group in American history. Here’s a freebie, Jim Crow was a Democrat and Jim Crow 2.0 aka the 1994 crime bill were the brainchild of the Democrats 🤭.

        I call this (and much more from American history) the “Left’s Racist Fragility”.

        Also, the only group banning history are the democrats. They have also banned basic human biology.

        You’re going to have to try harder C. 😁

          • 🤭 You must ne one of those new fangled leftists who fancy themselves a Libertarian 😂.

            Obviously, you suffer from Political Dysmorphia.

            I don’t care what you call yourself. Your rhetoric speaks for itself. I’ll continue to call em’ like I see em. Pew pew pew. 😘

  5. Public education needs to teach Math, Reading, WRITING, GRAMMAR, and science. These are all areas that students need in order to advance in life and education. Let the parents decide what history they want to teach their children. Don’t get me wrong, history is an important subject that should be taught …, BUT, if it is going to be the downfall of public education, then we need to leave it out of public education and let the parents teach it. Students come to my class and can’t read, write, have horrible grammar. Students can’t live a successful life without reading, grammar and math. History is exactly that…HISTORY! Don’t let that crap control our future!

  6. CRT is toxic and never needs to be taught in schools….it is not the school’s job to teach children to hate anyone who “is different”!……..We are ALL CREATED EQUAL and if this is taught to children in their early years there will be NO NEED for CRT

  7. CRT is an outgrowth of critical theory, which came from the Frankfurt School (Marxists who morphed it from full economical to social as a philosophy) and it is very specific in its purpose. It can be said it is bad for everyone, and it is, but its specific target is white people. Flat out, anyone who will not say they do not want to teach an anti white agenda makes me a bit wary. If it were specifically anti black or anti latino, or anti anything I expect that to be said straight out.

    It is tripe and you can rest assured the good people in the state government want it, so people on the JoCo board can yap all they want, but it will happen. I think ALL instruction and training for teachers should be readily available for tax Payer review. I have a friend who had to sit through some of the training mentioned earlier in this thread. It was bad, really bad. Keep pushing this bullsh*t, and you will get pushed back, and since the people pushing back have restrained themselves for a very, very long time, the push back might be a little bit abrupt.

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