A North Carolina school system was reportedly awarded millions of dollars in funding after it implemented rules that limit how teachers discuss American history and racism.
The Johnston County school board adopted a policy Friday stating teachers may be disciplined or fined for teaching that American historical figures were not heroes, teaching lessons that undermine the Constitution or saying that racism is a permanent fixture in U.S. society, The News & Observer reported.
School leaders in Johnston County have said critical race theory is not being taught in its schools, but the school board agreed to the policy change Friday in order to obtain the additional funding.
On Monday, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to give the school system $7.9 million in funding, a sum which was in limbo until the school board passed the policy preventing critical race theory in classrooms.
Johnston is North Carolina’s seventh-largest school district, and it serves over 37,000 students.
Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
“They have met the objectives for which we intended for our students and for the good of our country,” said Commissioner Fred Smith, the News & Observer reported.
Critics have referred to the commissioners’ withholding of money as an “extortion” or a “hostage standoff,” but school board members expressed gratitude for the funding.
“Our students and our staff thank you for what you do,” said Johnston County School Board Chairman Todd Sutton, according to the News & Observer.
“We appreciate you all giving us this opportunity to work on this and come back and provide something to you that we can all work with moving forward.”
Parents expressed their opinions during the public comments section of Monday’s meeting.
One parent, Rick Mercier, said the anti-CRT policy “addresses a problem that does not exist.”
More, Mercier said the commissioners’ actions “caused Johnston County to once again look like a backward, unwelcoming holdover from a different era,” the News & Observer reported.
Ronald Johnson, a school board member who helped draft the $7.9 million funding policy, said the adopted policy would “provide that balance and fairness” in discussions of difficult topics while making sure to “uphold, defend and promote the foundational documents that have made this country what it is.”
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