“Isle of Wight County educators are now barred from teaching students about ‘systemic racism,’ per a 3-2 School Board vote on March 9.
The vote changed the language of School Board Policy INB, which deals with teaching controversial issues. The adopted changes now explicitly assert ‘there is no systemic racism or bigotry perpetuated by the United States or any governmental entity.’
The vote is among the latest to split along racial lines. Denise Tynes and Michael Cunningham, the board’s two Black members, each opposed the policy change.”
“Matthew Ployd, a Smithfield High School history teacher, called the listed seven principles a ‘manifesto’ rather than a policy. ‘The only ones pushing a political agenda here in Isle of Wight are you, the board,” Ployd said.”
Asserting in a policy that there is no systemic racism in the United States ‘doesn’t make it a fact,’ said Windsor High School history teacher Maggie Halstead, who contended the policy would result in students receiving a ‘narrow-minded and incomplete view on the world.’
Jasmine Johnson, a Smithfield High School junior, told the board that with the policy in place, she would ‘no longer be proud’ but ‘ashamed’ to attend Isle of Wight County Schools.”
Exactly right by Matthew Ployd, Maggie Halstead and Jasmine Johnson…and utterly appalling by the School Board’s majority that pushed for this and voted for it.
For the agenda item the School Board was discussing and voting on last Thursday (entitled “Teaching About Controversial Issues“), click here. Among the absurd, factually inaccurate and ahistorical points made in this new policy are:
- “Life should be viewed without bias or discrimination toward any individual or group based on their characteristics or identities” (What on earth does that even mean?)
- “No one is inherently a victim or oppressed due to their race (consciously or unconsciously), skin color, gender, religion, national origin, sex, medical condition, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or disability.” (Again, wuuuuuut?)
- “There is no systemic racism or bigotry perpetuated by the United States or any governmental entity.” (The people who voted for this nonsense really should read some U.S. history, such as “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America“)
Also, check this out from WTKR, in which “News 3’s Leondra Head spoke to the Isle of Wight school board chair [John Collic] and asked more questions about are considered controversial topics being discussed in the classroom and how the new policy will impact classes.” Here’s how it went (see video clip, below):
Reporter Leondra Head: “What exactly are divisive concepts or divisive topics?
Isle of Wight School Board Chair John Collic: “It can really be ANYTHING…that’s controversial; the biggest thing that comes to most people’s minds are going to be racial issues”
Reporter: “Racism or maybe even slavery, can those be taught in classrooms?”
Isle of Wight School Board Chair: “Absolutely, they have to be taught in classrooms. If we don’t teach our history, we’re doomed to repeat it.”
That last comment by Collick is a real beauty, in that he completely contradicts what he just said about basically ANYTHING dealing with “systemic racism” (which of course exists and has existed for centuries) could be “divisive” and therefore not supposed to be talked about in the classroom! What a f’ing joke – and a really bad one at that.
Finally, if you want to watch the entire Isle of Wight School Board meeting this past Thursday (March 9), click here or view it below. The public comments on this policy item begin at 1:30:00 in the video.