Gov. explains decision to enter Wake schools debate

August 25, 2010 5:12:47 PM PDT
Governor Beverly Perdue visited Wiley Elementary School in Raleigh Wednesday to greet students on the first day of class, and she also took time out to explain why she weighed in on the Wake County schools diversity debate last weekend.

"I've weighed in as a citizen since the day it happened,” said Perdue.

Some have criticized the Governor for praising Reverend William Barber, the state president of the NAACP, Saturday when she presented him with the Long Leaf Pine Award.

“ I was honored and privileged to give him the award,” said Perdue.

Barber has been involved in a string of protests - ending with arrests - at the Wake County School Board headquarters as part of his fight to keep wake county schools diverse.

The new majority on the board elected last fall has voted to do away with the district's old diversity policy in favor of sending children to schools closer to home.

“ I think all of us understand the need to stand up for what we believe in, whether you agree or disagree with the person he's been a real agent for change in North Carolina in his role as the head of the NAACP and I admire that,” said Perdue.

ABC11 tried to ask the Governor if she’d gotten any backlash over her words, but an aid interrupted.

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