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LETTERS/ Woke Political Indoctrination in Watauga County Schools

Dear Editor,

During the pandemic, “Woke Political Indoctrination” and/or the concepts of Critical Race Theory and Identity Politics crept into the educational materials used by some of the teachers in the Watauga County Schools.  This occurred with the financial support and approval of both the North Carolina state government and Watauga County Board of Education.  

During the pandemic Watauga County Schools began using NC state Pandemic relief money to offer teachers and students computerized “news” stories supplied by Newsela Inc, as educational materials for their English Language, Social Studies, and Science classes. 

I was alerted by several examples of lesson assignment materials by concerned (and often frightened) parents and teachers last year, and began to investigate.  I enrolled in and completed an on-line course to become a “Newsela Certified” instructor.  As such I have full access to the computerized educational materials supplied by Newsela Inc.  This material is available to and for the use of Watauga K-12 teachers and students.  The Newsela material provides “news” stories from the woke Press, and radical college professors and institutes, then rewrites them for assignment to students at reading levels as low as 3rd grade.  These rewritten stories are included into prepared lesson plan packages, and have in fact been assigned (via computers) to Watauga K-12 students. 

After examining many of these Newsela articles, it is clear that the Newsela materials are filled with the concepts and language of Critical Race Theory, racial and sexual Identity Politics, and “woke” political indoctrination.  Some Watauga teachers used them last year, and some may intend to use them in the school year ahead.  

The parents of Watauga students need to be aware of these developments.  I believe Watauga K-12 schools should focus on teaching basic subjects like reading, writing, and arithmetic, not politics. 

I urge Watauga parents to examine their children’s past and future assignments to become aware of the developing facts. 

Mark A. Murphy PhD, JD

Blowing Rock North Carolina