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Republican-Led New Hanover County School Board Strips Classrooms Of Student Art And Family Photos

Source: WHQR

A new controversial policy came out of the New Hanover County Board of Education’s latest meeting earlier this month. The right-wing led school board voted 4-1 to pass a policy that would strip classrooms, school grounds, ball fields and buses of staff family pictures, student art and any materials that represent other nations.

According to WECT, the policy only permits the display of signs or flags representing the United States, the State of North Carolina, New Hanover County, the school’s name or mascot, post-secondary institutions, school-sponsored events, sponsorships and approved curriculum.
“I think the whole idea of limiting what teachers can display in the classroom is crazy. All kids, whether they’re new to the country, new to the city, or are from here are going to feel frustrated and deprived. Blank walls are no fun,” Leslie Posey, a former teacher, told WECT.

Board member Stephanie Kraybill, who was the only vote in opposition, expressed her “disbelief” in her colleagues for removing family photos and student artwork, according to Port City Daily.

In an email to Port City Daily, board member Kraybill stated that, “This feels vindictive and somewhat personal. Students take immense pride in the artwork they produce in class, oftentimes the best way for them to demonstrate mastery of a topic or concept or plea for help over a stressful situation they may be facing.”

According to Port City Daily, Kraybill posed multiple questions about the parameters of the controversial policy restrictions during the board meeting. Kraybill wanted to know how the changes will affect instruction for teachers that use visual aids in lessons, however, board chair Pete Wildeboer cut discussion due to time. Ultimately leaving Kraybill and residents of New Hanover with unanswered questions. 

“It is quite disconcerting to be part of a governing body that has such disrespect for its professional staff, its student body, and each other,” Kraybill wrote to WHQR. “I worry that teachers will feel so censored that they will leave the district for surrounding counties, that more families will line up for scholarship vouchers to attend private schools, thus perpetuating the financial deficit we are facing, and that new businesses will decide not to set up shop in New Hanover County because its school system is not a welcoming place for their employees’ children”.

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