Forsyth County school board OKs racial complaint resolution policy

John Thompson

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The Forsyth Board of Education held its regular meeting July 19.(Photo/John Thompson)

(Forsyth County, GA) The Forsyth County Board of Education approved a policy on July 19 that offers a roadmap for parents to complain about possible controversial items being taught in school.

The policy is a result of House Bill 1084 passed by the state General Assembly this year. The bill is known as the Protect Students First Act and was one of many bills passed to give parents more of a say in what is taught at the state’s schools.

Forsyth County Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Lee Ann Rice said Tuesday the system had received many comments about the policy. The policy had to be put in place by Aug.1, Rice said.

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Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Lee Anne Rice explained the board's new policy.(Photo/John Thompson)

“The statute is all race based,” said Rice.

Elements of the law passed by the state include not teaching concepts such as:

  • One race is inherently superior to another race
  • The United States is fundamentally racist
  • An individual, by virtue of his or her race, is inherently or consciously racist or oppressive toward individuals of another race

Rice said she received comments from educators who feared they would be unable to teach to the standards.

She said teachers are free to teach the subjects as long as they do not include their personal beliefs in the lesson.

Rice said another group of comments came from parents wanting to review the instructional materials.

“That is actually covered under House Bill 1178 and allows parents to review instructional materials,” she said.

Parents can find the instructional materials on the district’s website.

The final comments concerned whether people were aware of the consequences of violating the policy. Rice said the consequences are spelled out in the policy, including a review by the principal and superintendent. She emphasized an early way of defusing the problem.

“Reach out to our teachers to have a conversation,” she said.

The policy was drawn according to the state standards.

“The key is that personal beliefs should not be involved in teaching,” Rice added.

Superintendent of Education Dr. Jeff Bearden reiterated that if parents have an issue they should talk to the teacher.

“99 percent of the issues can be resolved there,” he said.

To view the complete policy, visit here.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact John Thompson at johntct@aol.com

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