BEAUFORT — The Carteret County Board of Education unanimously approved a curriculum policy revision Nov. 3 that prohibits teaching Critical Race Theory in county public school classrooms.
The theory, which has caused heated debates across the nation, was not being taught in Carteret County public schools.
A portion of the revision to Policy 3100 states the curriculum will not include “social and other theories that are not (a) generally accepted as accurate by scholars in the academic fields aligned with the subjects or (b) included in textbooks or other materials approved by the State Board of Education. Teachers shall not teach these theories as accepted fact. An example of a social or political theory that is neither generally accepted as accurate or approved for inclusion in the textbooks for public schools in North Carolina is the Critical Race Theory or CRT.”
There was no discussion about the revision during last week’s meeting, held in the school system’s central office on Safrit Drive in Beaufort, although Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson asked assistant superintendent Blair Propst to read the revision out loud at the request of a parent who thanked them for making the revision during the public comment portion of the meeting.
In an email response to the News-Times Monday, Dr. Jackson said school board members asked for the revision after several parents and community members “voiced concern about Critical Race Theory.”
Dr. Jackson further said, “Stated simply, Critical Race Theory will not be taught in Carteret County Public Schools.”
According to Education Week, Critical Race Theory is an academic concept that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies and continues to be perpetrated.
There has been explosive debate across the nation on the possibility of teaching the theory in public school classrooms since the idea was introduced in the spring. Numerous state legislatures, including in North Carolina, have debated bills to ban its use in classrooms. N.C. Lieutenant Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican, released a report in August that included complaints from parents claiming teachers were using the theory in classrooms to indoctrinate students.
Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, in September, vetoed a bill that would have regulated what views public schools could promote in classrooms.
In addition to the revision to Policy 3100, the Carteret County Board of Education also approved a revision to Policy 7720, which deals with employee political activities. The revision came at the suggestion of the N.C. School Boards Association, which routinely suggests policy revisions to local school boards across the state.
A portion of the revised policy states, “… employees must be mindful of their responsibility to deliver the curriculum of the school system and may not present their personal political views to students in the classroom or when otherwise engaged in the instruction of students.”
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.