Johnston County school board votes to limit how teachers can discuss race, history in classroom

JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- In a board of education meeting Friday, the Johnston County school board voted to severely limit what teachers are allowed to discuss with their students about racism and history.

According to the new plan, teachers cannot portray American historical figures as anything other than heroes, undermine the U.S. Constitution or say that racism is systemic in American history and current society.

Until the school board officially passes a policy banning the teaching of critical race theory in classrooms, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners will withhold nearly $8 million in funding. The school board denies that critical race theory--the idea that systemic racism is part of this country's history -- is being taught in schools.

In September, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would ban the teaching of critical race theory in North Carolina schools.

"The legislature should be focused on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning, and investing in our public schools," Cooper said at the time. "Instead, this bill pushes calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education."

Johnston County school board meetings have recently been hotbeds for debate -- recently attracting the attention of U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorne, R-NC, whose district is in western North Carolina, 300 miles away. He spoke at a rally ahead of a September meeting during which school board members intended to vote on whether to require students to wear masks.
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