Our duty to our constituents against indoctrination in education

By Elizabeth Barnhardt

Lexington-Richland Five School Board

While in local and national headlines you may hear that “white supremacy” is the biggest threat to our nation, it is my opinion that ANY and ALL forms of supremacy – no matter the race, ethnicity, or creed – are unacceptable. I denounce and do not participate or encourage any form of political violence or hatred and I believe every single American should denounce those things as well.

When it was brought to my attention from concerned parents and students that a teacher at Chapin High School was knowingly violating 2022-2023 South Carolina Proviso 1.93, it was my duty as an elected school board trustee to bring attention to this to leadership in our district.

I am a biracial woman and my children are biracial, so to insinuate that my opposition to this lesson is based in “racism” is ludicrous. I am a Christian, first and foremost. I’m an American, and the color of my skin or anyone else’s is irrelevant. I believe that parents are the primary stakeholders in their children’s education, their lives, and their future. I ran for the school board on these principles and I am grateful that my constituents elected me to represent them.

I do not believe that my kids or anyone else in this day and age should be taught to look differently at their fellow humans based on things that happened hundreds of years ago. The bigger problem here is that there is an unfounded theory that has developed recently to attempt to portray people today as problematic due to their skin color or the actions of their ancestors, and it is being taught to our children.

Nuggets of truth are being sprinkled onto a mentality that is not based in reality. To attempt to promote this as the prevailing narrative, and to shun or discredit anyone who disagrees with it is unacceptable.

Our nation’s children should not be made to feel the division that is prevalent in our society today. The education system was put in place to teach our children things like reading, writing, math and the sciences. While there is an obligation to prepare our students for the world that waits for them upon graduation, our school districts should be using all their time, finances and efforts to EDUCATE our children, not indoctrinate them.

Let us hope that the issue in District Five is a teachable moment that will help to avoid further instances in the future.

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