WCPSS superintendent, BOE members visit RACE exhibit to learn more on race, equity

Wake County BOE members visited the RACE exhibit on Tuesday (Lauren Haviland/CBS North Carolina)


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As Wake County schools continue to fight issues of equity and race, leaders in the district are trying to learn more as part of an initiative.

“We can’t deny that race plays a part in how kids are educated in the Wake County School System,” said Christine Kushner, vice chair of the county’s board of education.

It’s a conversation some don’t want to have, but it’s one that Wake County leaders believe is important.

Chairwoman of the Wake County Board of Education, Monika Johnson-Hostler, said, “It’s a subject we should all be diving deep into because of the impact on our students in their classroom, but also in their lives.”

Wake County’s superintendent, along with board members, visited the RACE Exhibit at the Natural Science Museum Tuesday.

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“We need to prepare our students to be in a global environment — and that is a diverse environment,” Kushner said. “I think we need to talk about differences in constructive ways.”

Board members believe it starts at the top, and they can help create a conversation, and a curriculum, for even their youngest learners.

“If we continue to gloss over tough subjects like race we will continue to see racial incidents that directly impact our students,” Johnson-Hostler told CBS North Carolina.

Board members said they will take what they learned during the exhibit, and open conversation afterward, so the same mistakes aren’t made.

“I think our kids are the generation to actually implement the change, but we have to be honest with them,” said Johnson-Hostler. “We have a board that’s committed that this is not just a moment in time, or a blip on the radar, that we will continue to refer back to what we’ve learned.”

In 2013, the Wake County Public School System added the Office of Equity Affairs. This year, they brought on a Director of Equitable Discipline Practices.

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