New Hanover BOE Passes Pol⁠i⁠cy 7205, De⁠t⁠a⁠i⁠l⁠i⁠ng Profess⁠i⁠onal S⁠t⁠andards of Conduc⁠t⁠ for Educa⁠t⁠ors

February 14, 2024

Kayla Maloney

CALN Project Manager

Photo of Woman Teaching

Last week, the New Hanover County Board of Education passed Policy 7205, which details new standards of conduct for teachers in the classroom.  

The policy itself lays out rules for how teachers and other employees ought to behave as role models for students, abstain from any fraudulent or dishonest actions, and carry themselves professionally in meetings. All of these standards seem to make sense, however the policy itself has been deemed “controversial” due to the language of the final section, ‘Section Z.’  

Section Z prohibits teachers from sharing certain beliefs with their students in the classroom. Critics of the policy have called this a list of “prohibited beliefs,” but it is important to note that the policy only prohibits teachers from voicing certain opinions in the classroom, not from believing them or voicing them in other outlets. 

The list from Section Z is verbatim as follows: 

“Employees shall ensure dignity and nondiscrimination in schools by not teaching students or compelling students, teachers, administrators, or other school employees to affirm or profess belief in the concepts that: 

  1. One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex  
  1. An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive 
  1. An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex 
  1. An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex 
  1. An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex 
  1. Any individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress 
  1. A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist 
  1. The United States was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex 
  1. The United States government should be violently overthrown 
  1. Particular character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs should be ascribed to a race or sex or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex; 
  1. The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups 
  1. All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness 
  1. Governments should deny to any person within the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.” 

The points of contention are, interestingly enough, the ones which prevent teachers from telling students that America is inherently racist and sexist, or that race and sex should be placed above law and merit. 

Proponents of the policy say it clarifies what teachers can present to their students as fact and creates uniformity among classrooms.