On June 21, 2021, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners met to discuss their annual budget totaling $282 million dollars. Johnston County Public Schools received approval for $72 million dollars in local funds, but was promised an additional $7.9 million dollars if they would pass a policy against Critical Race Theory. The motion to make $7.9 million dollars contingent upon passing a “CRT Policy” was approved by the Commissioners.
Johnson Drafts Policy In Response
After the June 21st County Commissioners Budget Meeting, Ronald Johnson reported he was working on a policy “to address the needs of the community”. On July 13th, Johnson presented the draft policy to the Johnston County Board of Education.
The policy never mentions Critical Race Theory or “CRT”. The policy focuses on social responsibility, empathy, kindness, addressing the cycle of poverty, compliance with laws, and human relations. Johnson called for students to have an understanding of the following human relations concepts: conflict resolution, trust, motivation, self-awareness, and communication, before discussing any political theories. In the following excerpt, the policy calls for productive and competent dialogue leading towards solutions.
“When discussing conflict, of a political, social, or other nature, dialogue should occur regarding a peaceful resolution. An understanding, preferably a mastery, of these human relations concepts are beneficial in fostering productive and competent dialogue and solutions. “
The policy denounces racism, citing the mere presence of racism can destroy a community. It cites that all people should be recognized for their contributions to American History. The policy does not allow school employees to undermine the Constitution, Bill of Rights or any other “foundational documents” used to form the United States of America.
Policy Calls for “Compliance with Laws”
“All advocacy groups, initiatives and ideologies that willfully flaunt and violate laws, create an influence that place our youth in danger and jeopardy of being involved in criminal activity or delinquent behavior.”
In addition to complying with laws, students will be taught the dangers of poverty, students shall be taught a formalized education or trade, an understanding of economics, participation in systematic forms of government, service to community and emotional stability to break the Cycle of Poverty.
Johnson’s policy calls for all political discussions to be conducted with Empathy and Kindness. All discussions regarding political and social issues shall be conducted with Empathy and Kindness. Nostudent or employee shall be belittled, ostracized or publicly recognized or called out based on external features. A student or employee’s race, gender or any other external feature, may not be used as interpretive personal histories. No student or staff member shall be exposed to stereotypes, positive or negative, based on personalities, behavioral pattern or future potential success. No employee or student shall be forced to have compelled speech or acceptance of ideas that are contrary to their beliefs, specifically using bias, race and privilege.
Johnson’s Policy Not Well Received by Board of Education Members
Chairman Todd Sutton and Board Member Kay Carroll were critical of Johnson’s proposed policy leading to a heated confrontation between them and Johnson.
During the beginning of the July 13th Board of Education Meeting, Johnson informed his colleagues he had a policy written for the County Commissioners. Board Member Carroll stated, “you’re too late”. Carroll said, “We had the policy that spoke to the very issue of what should have been in the classroom.” Johnson accused Board Member Carroll and other board members of “cutting and pasting” another school system’s policy.
Chairman Sutton was critical of Board Member Johnson, saying “You said we don’t need a CRT policy.” Johnson responded that, “We need another policy, because of the stigma associated with it, we need a policy that addresses the concerns of the community.”
The video shows Sutton and Carroll’s argument with Johnson regarding the policy:
Final Meeting with County Commissioners
On September 1, 2021, the Board of Education adopted Johnson’s Policy as a “Regulation” after being reviewed by Principals, Assistant Principals, teachers and law enforcement officers. Sources tell Johnston County Report, County Commissioners were adamant Johnson’s work be adopted as a policy not a regulation. It would require a majority vote from the Board of Education.
On October 1st, the Johnston County Board of Education called a Special Emergency Session to pass the policy, which became Policy 5100. The policy initially introduced by Ronald Johnson passed unanimously, 6-0, with Board Member Kay Carroll absent from the meeting.
Johnson tells Johnston County Report he will go before the Johnston County Commissioners tonight (Monday) at 6:00pm to see if the policy meets their standard for the funding to be released for the school system. If the policy meets the standard, the school system will receive an additional $7.9 million dollars, which has been allocated for increase bus driver pay, a teacher supplement increase, and more teacher assistants in schools with a “D” or “F” rating.