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05/03/2023 08:30 AM

Doubled Down

If you are not watching the Guilford Board of Education meetings, you are in the dark about the Board’s commitment to our superintendent’s equity and social justice agenda.

Just like when the Board issued their “Statement on Addressing Equity and Social Justice In Guilford Public Schools” on April 26, 2021, when they “made a commitment to our students and community to better address instruction and school culture regarding issues of social justice and institutional racism,” they doubled down on their support for maintaining objectionable books in our school libraries at their March 13 meeting. At this meeting, Chairwoman Dr. Katie Balestracci read a prepared statement stating, “The Board is disinclined to remove such access … I am appalled at the attacks on, and the insinuations about our school librarians … Vicious attacks on their character or job performance based on the presence of particular books in our school libraries is unjustified and undeserved … We are aware that there are other Communities across our Country where limitations on educational offerings, and book access related to the experience of these minority communities have been implemented. These actions stand in sharp contrast to this Board’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

So, books like Flamer and Lawn Boy will remain in our Guilford school libraries, where students will have free access to them without parental permission.

Also, at this meeting, Policy Chairwoman Kristen Peck reported that section 1138 of the policy manual concerning Public Participation at Meetings had been updated to clarify that “the goal of public participation is for us to hear from the public, not necessarily to engage in conversation.” Translation, we must let you talk for three minutes max, but there is no need to engage in conversation with parents because we know better than you.

Dave Holman