By Dave Russell

 

Jackson County Schools Superintendent Dana Ayers again addressed the school system’s policy on Critical Race Theory in schools. 

School system leaders and the Board of Education issued a joint statement on CRT at last week’s board meeting.

CRT is an academic concept that race is a social construct, not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also embedded in legal systems, policies and history.

“Critical Race Theory continues to be a topic that solicits a range of emotions and questions from stakeholders in our community,” Ayers said.

JCPS has shared a short statement over the last several months in response to a series of commentary during the public comment segment of board meetings.

“At this time we want to share additional information,” Ayers said. “The original statement said JCPS would teach the standards as required by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. We will teach history in an unbiased and factual matter. Most importantly we will follow the North Carolina curriculum standards for social studies and history to ensure JCPS students receive appropriate standard aligned instruction.”

She then read the additions to the statement.

“Our values here are clearly stated and they are shared on our website for JCPS,” Ayers said. “We value safe and inclusive environments. We value respectful and nurturing relationships. We value high expectations. We value continuous growth and improvement. We value partnerships with families and communities.

“These values and our drive to provide unbiased instruction to students means that we are teaching students to be kind, respectful and inclusive of all people regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. We are not teaching students to demoralize, judge or degrade each other based on historical incidents.”