National watchlist for ‘radical left’ policies includes 5 North Carolina school boards

By: - September 7, 2021 5:30 pm

Several North Carolina school boards made a national watchlist for embracing what its conservative creator calls the “toxic, socialist, America-hating lies of the radical left.”

The School Board Watchlist was created by Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a nonprofit organization that advocates for conservative values on high school, college, and universities campuses.

School boards for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools; Cumberland County Schools; Guilford County Schools, Wake County Public Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools made the group’s Watchlist.

The Watchlist provides summaries of districts and boards along with the names and photographs of board members.

Here’s the group’s summary of the Wake County school board:

The School System is facing scrutiny over its policy regarding internet privacy towards students. Current policy states that students have no expectation of privacy when connected to the school internet. School administrators may seize electronic devices from students that are deemed not being used for educational purposes.

During the same meeting where board members voted to uphold the policy, members further discussed an “equity” policy for the district. The text for the policy describes equity as, “raising the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the lowest and highest performing students and eliminating the racial or cultural predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories.”

Parents are additionally removing their children from the school system due the board’s masking policy. One parent told Spectrum News that children in masks are “depressing” and cited the masking policy as the reason for withdrawing her child from the school district.

The Watchlist site also includes “relevant news” about masking and Critical Race Theory, which has become a Republican wedge issue in the months before the 2022 mid-term elections.

TPSUSA missed Durham Public Schools, a frequent target of Senate leader Phil Berger, (R-Rockingham). Berger has been critical of the district because it supports anti-racism education, which includes elements of CRT.

As Policy Watch has reported, CRT is an academic discipline that examines how American racism has shaped law and public policy. CRT emerged in the legal academy in the 1980s as an offshoot of critical legal studies.

Most educators say CRT is not taught in K-12 schools.

Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to veto a Republican-back bill, House Bill 324, that would ban CRT from K-12 schools by limiting what can be taught about America’s racial history.

TPUSA was founded in 2012 by conservative radio talk show host Charlie Kirk and conservative activist Bill Montgomery, who died last year of coronavirus complications at age 80.

In a fundraising letter soliciting donations of $12, $25, $50, $100 or more, Kirk promises to stand up against “Marxist teachers, radical superintendents, and anti-American curricula.

“Leftists have taken over the vast majority of school districts in every state – likely even your district!” Kirk warned.

Here are the offenses that can land a school board on the TPUSA watchlist:

  • Adopting Critical Race Theory (CRT) curriculum, ensuring students are indoctrinated with this dangerous Marxist vision of race.
  • Requiring teachers to participate in discriminatory professional development disguised as “diversity training” and putting Leftist ideology before education.
  • Renaming schools because of their “racist” namesakes, which include national heroes like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
  • Continuing to use COVID as an excuse to maintain online learning, despite extensive evidence that in-person learning poses little to no risk to students – and knowing that online learning leaves many students underserved.

According to the Watchlist, Norman Public Schools (Oklahoma); Santa Barbara Unified School District (California); Portland Public Schools (Oregon); Seattle Public Schools (Washington); District of Columbia Public Schools; Anne Arundel County Public Schools (Maryland); Loudoun County Public Schools (Virginia); Fairfax County Schools (Virginia) and Chicago Public Schools have the nation’s most radical school boards.

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.