Thank you for your well-researched and continued reporting on Chatham County Board of Education meetings, campaigns, and the upcoming election. In response to what we have been reading, witnessing, and learning throughout our community, we offer this point of view:
A conservative running to unseat Del Turner insists that she will be the “voice for parents” if she is elected. She would not.
Some of us witnessed the September board meeting in person or via livestream; some of us have heard and read about it since. Chatham County Board of Education meetings should not be a platform to dictate & disrupt; attack and impose; or seek attention via manufactured rage.
Parents and guardians in Chatham County want children to learn the realities of history, including parts that have historically been neglected in favor of American exceptionalism and historical myths. We want teachers to get the training and support they request in order to handle difficult topics with understanding and sensitivity. We want to see Black and Indigenous children and people of color represented in their full humanity in school materials. We want to uplift our undocumented neighbors. We want to see LGBTQIA representation in literature. We believe in religious freedom and the separation of church and state; Christianity is not a prerequisite for being a public educator.
A majority of Chatham County residents voted for, and must again vote for Del Turner, Gary Leonard, and Jane Allen Wilson. Under this board’s leadership, Chatham County Schools won awards and recognition for achievement in the arts, academics, and innovation. Over 90% of teachers in our county recently reported that they value their working conditions, and our district moved inside the top 25 statewide. Furthermore, when this board was faced with difficult decisions at the height of the COVID pandemic, they thankfully prioritized community health while working to get students back in the classroom as quickly and safely as possible.
Del Turner is a relentless advocate for ALL students. She is passionate about closing achievement gaps, honest curricula, and compensating teachers on a level “commensurate with their invaluable contribution to our society.” This is a voice for parents and guardians in Chatham County. We are asking voting community members to re-elect Del Turner, Gary Leonard, and Jane Allen Wilson to the Chatham County Board of Education. Your support will further expand public education and contribute to the success and longevity of our diverse county.
Emily Boynton, Pittsboro
Brooke Davis, Chapel Hill (Chatham County)
Monica Jarnagin, Pittsboro
Erin Jones, Pittsboro
Katie Thornberg, Pittsboro