The Johnston County Board of Education unanimously approved revisions to the district’s Code of Ethics policy Friday that are intended to prevent elements of Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in K-12 classrooms.
Under the revisions, teachers could be disciplined or fired if they “undermine” the nation’s foundational documents or fail to recognize or present all people who contributed to American Society as “reformists, innovators and heroes to our culture.”
There’s $7.9 million in new school funding hinging on the revisions. The Johnston County Board of Commissioners is withholding the board’s funding request until it adopts a policy banning CRT, The Raleigh News & Observer has reported.
Commissioners will discuss the revisions during its regular board meeting at 6 p.m., Monday.
The school board’s approval of the policy revisions comes just weeks after Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed House Bill 324, the controversial Republican-backed legislation critics contend would restrict what students could be taught about the nation’s racial history.
CRT is an academic discipline that examines how American racism has shaped law and public policy. It emerged in the legal academy in the 1980s as an offshoot of critical legal studies.
Educators and others opposed to HB 324 say the obscure academic discipline isn’t taught in K-12 classrooms.
Nevertheless, CRT has been a point of contention at school board meetings across the country. Parents critical of CRT contend it divides students racially by focusing on the negative aspects of the nation’s history.
To ensure consistency, balance, neutrality and fairness by all employees when discussing various political and social issues with students the following guidance is being provided. The overall goal shall be social responsibility and empathy, human relations, compliance with laws, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness.
- Social Responsibility and Empathy
Students should be exposed to Social Responsibility, the ethical theory that students are encouraged to fulfill their civic duty, and their actions should benefit society as a whole, creating a balance between growth and the welfare of society. Social Responsibility encourages everyone to contribute and work together for the benefit of society. Social Responsibility shall be taught in conjunction in discussion of political concepts.
All discussions regarding political and social issues shall be conducted with Empathy and Kindness. No person should be judged, subjected to stereotypes regardless of negative or positive, or marginalized based on race, gender, religion, preference, ethnicity, immigration status, socioeconomic standing, ability, or any other identity group. No person should be limited by the assumptions of race, gender, religion, creed, ethnicity, preference, immigration status or identity group regarding the individual’s behavior and future success.
No employee or student shall be forced to have compelled speech or acceptance of ideas that are contrary to their beliefs.
- Human Relations
A prerequisite to discussing any political or social theories with students shall be a review of these major themes of Human Relations:
- Conflict Resolution
When discussing conflict of a political, social, or other nature; dialogue should occur that works towards a peaceful resolution. An understanding, preferably a mastery, of these human relations concepts are beneficial in fostering productive and competent dialogue and solutions.
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.
- Compliance with Laws
All activities should be in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws. In addition, students will be encouraged to comply with all laws, ordinances and regulations set forth by the federal, state, and local government. Teachers will instruct and educate students about legal policies and avenues of actions.
As defined in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Johnston County Schools shall foster a working knowledge of local government. Johnston County Schools shall place an emphasis on the necessity of these services in order for society to function in a proper and productive manner.
Students should be encouraged to participate in government sponsored elections with no bias being given to any party or candidates. (Policy 2035)
Johnston County School employees shall not encourage or promote any specific ideology, legislation or candidate for an elected office while performing official duties.
A goal of this policy is to foster positive relationships between our students and the local government entities who provide services to their community. Any group who encourages students to act outside of the law, places this relationship in peril, and is not productive to the goal of Social Responsibility.
- Cycle of Poverty
JCPS will make efforts to formally train staff on the danger and impact of the Cycle of Poverty, the lack of resources of children who are born into a family whose household income is below the poverty level, and often are unable to break the poverty cycle.
- Balance & Fairness
When discussing a controversial topic, which may arise out of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, the staff member shall remain neutral and present the information without bias. These topics must include multiple and varied viewpoints, in an effort to stimulate thought, without persuasion or outside pressure, among students. (Policy 5170, 2205)
All people deserve full credit and recognition for their struggles and accomplishments throughout United States history. The United States foundational documents shall not be undermined. No employee of Johnston County Schools will make any attempt to discredit the efforts made by all people using foundational documents for reform.
No fictional accounts or narratives shall be used to invalidate actual objective historical events. All people who contributed to American Society will be recognized and presented as reformists, innovators and heroes to our culture.