Teachers attending the Rally for Respect in Raleigh said they planned to show videos and images from their experience in the classroom Thursday as a teachable moment.
But what is the policy for teachers discussing politics in class?
District policy allows Brunswick County teachers to discuss political issues, including problems the school system may be facing because of political actions, inside the classroom. The teachers must present both sides of the issue so students "are provided an opportunity to be well informed and to be able to make their own decisions regarding political issues."
Carolynn Phillips, a Leland Middle School art teacher and Brunswick County Teacher of the Year, said she would discuss political art and why teachers would use Rosie the Riveter's image at the rally to highlight classroom needs. Phillips told WECT she is discussing both sides of the issue in class.
When asked for the school district's policy, a spokesperson for New Hanover County replied, "Teachers could discuss a rally or other event in the news as part of a civics or social studies lesson, say, on First Amendment rights. However, they cannot (based on our policies) encourage students to advocate for a cause or believe in one side vs. the other on a political issue." Teachers are expected to present both sides of the political issue.
A Pender County school district spokesperson pointed to a policy similar to Brunswick County's but said there is no specific language addressing whether teachers have to present both sides of an issue.
WECT has not received complaints into the newsroom.
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