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'I want them to know the full story' | Union County parents debate diversity, inclusion instruction within schools

Both sides argued the benefits and the detriments they believe this type of curriculum could have for students.

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Protesters gathered outside the Union County school board meeting Tuesday night with signs in hand advocating for an education that involves diversity, equity and inclusion within the district.

The crowd said their vocal presence was in large part a response to remarks made at a school board meeting last month. During that meeting, one parent spoke out against race and diversity discussions in the classroom, saying they don't agree with it. But other parents argued those conversations are critical. 

“I have kids in the system and I want them to know the full story, all of their history included, not just the side that makes people feel good," parent Jermatic Chambers said.

But not everyone agreed. Other parents offered a counterargument, saying tough topics like race can do more harm than good for students.

“I think children should learn what is basic," parent Kendra Everett said. "I think everything outside what is learning in general and what is supposed to be taught should be eliminated today.”

Both perspectives also debated the idea of Critical Race Theory versus Culturally Responsive Teaching and what differences each of these could mean for students not just now, but in their futures.

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At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Union County school board took no action on the district’s next steps with its diversity curriculum.

In addition, the school board unanimously agreed to send a resolution to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper requesting for the state's mask mandate in public schools to be overturned.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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