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NC’s Public Schools Could Soon Be Led By MAGA Extremist Who Doesn’t Believe in Public Education

Source:  Editorial Board 

A MAGA extremist from Cary who has never taught in a public school, whose own children have never attended a public school here and who has called public schools “socialistic indoctrination” centers could lead North Carolina’s entire public education system next year.

Michele Morrow, a far-right Republican election denier who was at the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection, defeated Catherine Truitt, the current state superintendent of public instruction and a lifelong educator-turned-political adviser, in the GOP primary earlier this month. It was a shocking win for Morrow, an embarrassing defeat for Truitt and the NCGOP, and a terrifying harbinger of what could be in store for our state’s public schools in the very near future.

Truitt has not been a particularly strong defender of the state’s public education system, but has had success navigating schools in a post-pandemic world and to her credit, has experience teaching – the bare minimum you would expect for such a position. As for Morrow, she has actively encouraged parents to remove their children from public schools, has spoken at many anti-education rallies in the state and has said that teachers should be able to carry guns in the classroom.

Morrow previously ran for the Wake County Board of Education in 2022 and lost by 20 points to Tyler Swanson. Her loss was part of a county-wide rejection of right-wing extremist candidates – four other extremists lost their races that year and the board ended up with a 7-2 Democratic majority. 

Morrow’s recent victory over Truitt can be attributed in part to her effort to paint Truitt as a “liberal” in an election year where she shared the Republican primary ballot with other MAGA extremists like Donald Trump (president), Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (governor) and U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop (attorney general), all of whom won their respective races. With a large number of extremists on the ballot, high turnout from ultra-conservative Republican voters and conservative skepticism toward public education, “It was kind of a perfect storm,” Roger Farina, a district chair for the Republican Party, told WRAL.

While North Carolina’s extreme right-wing voters may be happy to vote for a woman who said “the U.S. Public School system is a tax-payer funded socialism indoctrination machine,” said during her campaign that she will “eliminate progressive indoctrination in schools,” accused the state’s public schools of “teaching children to hate our country” and training children in “transgender theory,” said that schools “are pushing a godless agenda,” called teachers “groomers,” said public schools should be run on “Biblical principles,” called people with cognitive disabilities “retarded,” and posted homophobic and Islamophobic remarks on her social media, there will be a lot more general election voters out there – Republicans included – who will have no interest in voting for a person like this. Morrow is one of those people you see making a fool of themself while talking to a Daily Show reporter outside of a Trump rally – hilarious to watch, chilling to imagine having any power whatsoever.

Morrow is running for a position that impacts the future of nearly 1.4 million students and takes up more than 30% of the state budget. Considering the current state of public education in North Carolina, which has been decimated since Republicans took over the legislature in 2010, neither the state nor its children can afford to have someone who is the living embodiment of a Facebook comments section running our schools.


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