The Johnston County school board on Oct. 1 unanimously approved an amended code of ethics policy after the county’s Republican-run board of commissioners said it would withhold $7.9 million in school funding until the policy was passed, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
While CRT wasn’t specifically mentioned in the changes, the new policy did target key ideas aligning with the quasi-Marxist ideology, including claims that U.S. laws and institutions are built upon racial oppression, and that racism is so deeply embedded in the nation that racist views are considered normal throughout all aspects of society.
“Racism causes damage to individuals and the community. When racism is present, it creates a lack of trust and respect,” the document reads. “No student or staff member shall be subjected to the notion that racism is a permanent component of American life.”
When it comes to U.S. history, the policy states that “all people deserve full credit and recognition for their struggles and accomplishments throughout United States history,” and that the nation’s founding documents “shall not be undermined.” It banned any Johnston County Schools employee from “making any attempt to discredit the efforts made by all people using foundational documents for reform.”
“No fictional accounts or narratives shall be used to invalidate actual objective historical events. All people who contributed to American Society will be recognized and presented as reformists, innovators, and heroes to our culture,” it added. “Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”
The vote was welcomed by Citizen Advocates for Accountable Government, an advocacy group founded by two Johnston residents. They said the policy would “prohibit the implementing of divisive principles of Critical Race Theory in the classroom.”
“The approach used stands as an example of how diverse voices can work together for the betterment of the Students in our Public Schools,” Dale Lands, the group’s founder, said in a statement to The Observer.
The idea that American society is inherently racist has been popularized by proponents of CRT, notably Nikole Hannah-Jones, the leading author of The New York Times’ highly controversial “1619 Project,” an essay collection arguing that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery; and Ibram X. Kendi, a professor at Boston University who advocates for active discrimination against white people, whom he deems privileged, as a remedy for historical racism.