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After Local School Boards Reject Surveys and CRT, the State Board of Education and DPI Double Down.

By: Sloan Rachmuth

Since February, we have been exposing the invasive, hyper-sexualized surveys being given to students as young as ten in the state. We reported in September on the State's plan to survey children as young as 11 about heroin, crack, and gun use, as well as their romantic preferences and their sexual partners via the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Parents are listening and standing up in numbers that cannot be ignored.

Now school boards like Moore and Henderson have refused statewide funding for the Panorama social-emotional dashboard, and two other districts even pulled out of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey due to parental pressure according to a report published by left-leaning EdNC.

Perhaps in response to pushback, last week's State Board of Education's Bi-Annual Planning Session was chock-full of critical race theory and social emotional learning presentations.

During November 3rd's meeting, Superintendent Catherine Truitt told the state school board that her department would be responsible for 'operationalizing' the board's strategic plans, which include:

  • Inserting critical race theory into every subject via social emotional learning (SEL)

  • Student surveys

  • Equity training for teachers

  • Psychiatric evaluations and treatment for students administered by teachers

  • Elimination of academically gifted courses

  • Getting rid of school suspensions and expulsions

Iheoma Iruka, a UNC policy researcher and director of the Equity Research Action Coalition in Chapel Hill, served as the equity trainer at the meeting. Iruka, a critical race theory trainer, led state school board members and DPI upper management in lessons on uncovering and dismantling racism in public schools, telling them that "doing nothing is condoning racism." Unless black and white students have equal grades, Iruka reasoned, schools will always be racist institutions. She argued that equity trainings are needed because teachers are causing harm in the classroom, even unintentionally.

A more troubling concept was Iruka's assertion that school suspensions and expulsions are not a reflection of a student's conduct, but rather a condemnation of the teacher.

The session spent hours touting the benefits of the critical race theory-based social emotional learning (SEL) program. One presenter claimed that SEL "let's us have hard conversations to move work forward."

Beth Rice, a DPI director pleaded with leadership to promote SEL in schools, “SEL helps to create learning environments, and opportunities where all individuals can reach their full potential,” even though the content is based largely on race and sexual orientation.

“We know that your continued communication to your commitment to social and emotional learning as a lever for both academic success and educational equity removes barriers for the field,” she said.

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