This letter is in response to the letter from the Bryan County School Board to the community.
The only lying and misinformation that appears to be happening is coming from the school board. This current board appears to be woefully out of touch with reality and their desperation in this letter is clear to see.
We have a great school system. But our current leadership is failing it badly. The board says there is no “CRT” in our schools. The board says the state has forbidden it; this is true. While there may not be formal lessons in CRT established in the official curriculum, individual assignments are available. Additionally, teacher introduction of the theory, even inadvertently, is happening.
They say there is no CRT. Then why, in a British Literature class in RHHS, was an assignment given to the students this spring asking them to assess a “Stop and Frisk” law? What does that have to do with British Literature? Absolutely nothing. But this is the assignment the students were given. They had to evaluate and look for unfairness to minorities in this law. This is an example of CRT being incorporated, and this board doesn’t seem to have a clue that it is going on.
They say there is no CSE, or teaching about gender and sexuality issues. Then why did RHHS promote the National Day of Silence for LGBTQ causes in April of 2021? High school students in their weekly “advisement” session were given stickers to wear all day, saying who they would be silent for (trans kids, or lesbians, etc), and including their preferred pronouns on the sticker. Why are transgender students allowed to use opposite sex bathrooms? Boys who claim they have transitioned to girls are going into the girls’ bathrooms, and vice versa. Why is there no policy stating students must use the bathroom that matches the sex they were born with? Why have preschoolers come home from school calling their moms “birthing persons”, or asking a single mom why doesn’t she date women? These are not made-up stories. These are actual events that parents have had to deal with. There is photographic and documentary evidence for these things in happening our county schools. But this board continues to keep its head in the sand and won’t acknowledge the issues students and parents are facing. These items are merely the tip of the iceberg regarding issues in the schools. There are many more problems, like discipline and disallowing parents back in schools, that need to be addressed but are beyond the scope of this letter.
The board’s letter touts their experience. Many of these board members have been there for 10+ years. They are completely out of touch with what is going on in the schools, and they are not holding Superintendent Brooksher accountable for any of his actions. This has been the crux of the matter from the outset, beginning with the mask mandate imposed by Brooksher himself which the board never voted on.
People are unhappy with the board and superintendent because this group does not want to hear any negativity about the school system. Our system is good, and our teachers deserve praise. But no system can rest on its laurels forever. This board needs to be proactive and get on top of some of the cultural and societal changes which are negatively impacting our students. Progress and improvement in a school system cannot occur unless leadership acknowledges the problems. They refuse to do so. To that end, they don’t want to let parents express their concerns at board meetings. The result is a lack of transparency and accountability in the school system due to poor leadership from the board.
They claim they have asked for evidence. From whom? I have plenty of evidence I am happy to share with them and indeed have shared. But when I asked for follow up, I was told they were “too busy” to address it, and “we’d have to agree to disagree.”
The letter mentions dire warnings about “deep and stark changes” if the public won’t support them. The only deep and stark changes are what’s happening to our children because this board and superintendent has forgotten that their prime directive is to educate our children, not keep property values high and raise money for an overpriced high school.
No one in our community is trying to malign or attack our schools. No one has attacked our teachers or staff. We merely want answers, and we want our voices heard. Unfortunately, the current board and superintendent continually raise roadblocks to concerned parents. Any questioning or comments have all been directed to the board and superintendent. But instead of handling them, they ignore them, and pretend that any questioning of their actions “is an attack on our schools and teachers” instead of constituents trying to hold their elected officials accountable, as is our right and duty. We all want a great school system. It starts with a good school board, which despite all their self-congratulatory statements, we do not have. It’s time for new leadership in our schools. Vote on May 24th.
Editor's note: The letter to the editor from the school board that is referenced above can be read here.