SMITHFIELD – The Johnston County Board of Education approved an updated Critical Race Theory (CRT) policy Friday morning during a virtual meeting.
The board passed the new policy in a 6-to-0 vote. Board member Kay Carroll was not in attendance.
The special called meeting was held to take action prior to the Monday, October 3rd meeting of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners. Monday night, County Commissioners are expected to discuss funding an additional $7.9 million to the school system this fiscal year.
In June, commissioners withheld the $7.9 million from the 2021-2022 school system budget until the school board could pass an acceptable policy preventing the teaching of CRT in Johnston County public schools.
There have been several protests against the teaching of CRT in public schools and numerous parents and community leaders have spoken at school board meetings in recent months.
After the vote, Citizen Advocates for Accountable Government (CAAG) founder Dale Lands issued the following statement. “Citizen Advocates for Accountable Government is pleased that the Johnston County Board of Education worked together to pass a policy to prohibit the implementing of divisive principles of Critical Race Theory in the classroom, the approach used stands as an example of how diverse voices can work together for the betterment of the Students in our Public Schools. While it doesn’t incorporate all of the problems of Critical Theory, it is an adequate start and a direct contrast to the National School Boards Association (NSBA) letter to President Biden yesterday seeking to criminalize concerned parents. When School Boards listen and work with parents it serves the greater community and we are grateful Ron Johnson was able to facilitate bringing all sides to the table. Our School Boards should never fund organizations like the NSCA, or its affiliate North Carolina School Board Association that would attempt to silence the community, and we appeal to our School Board to defund any monies being spent with this private association until NSBA rescinds their request and issues an apology.”
Policy Code 5100 was amended to add several new sections including: “Racism causes damage to individuals and the community. When racism is present, it creates a lack of trust and respect. No student or staff member shall be subjected to the notion that racism is a permanent component of American life. No unequal value shall be placed on any race, gender, religion, ethnicity, social class, or any other identity group.”
Failure to comply with the policy will result in administrative action including possible dismissal.
After the vote to approve the new CRT policy, school board chairman Todd Sutton asked Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy forward a copy to County Manager Rick Hester and Commissioner Chairman Chad Stewart.
Sutton said he would be in attendance Monday night at the county commission meeting to ask for the additional $7.9 million funding for the school system.