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Social Emotional Learning: Social Justice Indoctrination in New Hanover County

by Staff

November 2, 2023

Experts BUSTED! SEL is Designed to Brainwash Children with Woke Dogma

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

SEL is a learning system developed by a Chicago-based organization called Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). According to CASEL’s website SEL is defined as follows: 

“We define social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”

However, CASEL’s explanation isn’t the full story. We’ve discovered that CASEL is peddling, nationwide, the idea that SEL is the one-size-fits-all solution for what they deem to be a problem: systemic racism and social injustice.

The following video is a compilation of clips from a conference call that has been scrubbed from their website. CASEL does not want parents to know SEL truly about: Far Left fanaticism

*In 2013 North Carolina joined CASEL’s Collaborating States Initiative and aligned SEL standards for children from birth through preschool.

Lies About SEL

The following lies have been repeated ad nauseam by the NCDPI, NHCS central office, certain members of the School Board, and local media. It’s time to put them to rest and expose everyone who is participating in the destructive Woke Agenda by hiding it.

  1. SEL is not on the schedule
  2. SEL is just about behavior management
  3. SEL gets unfairly “dumped in the same bucket” as CRT
  4. SEL is evidence-based
  5. SEL is a normal part of teachers’ duties
  6. SEL includes parents
  7. SEL helps children

LIE #1: SEL is not on the schedule

SEL Mental Health check on Daily Schedule

This is aclass schedule from a district Middle School. SEL is on the schedule, and therefore IS taking time away from academics. 

WHQR claimed twice in the last two weeks, that according to the district, SEL is not on the schedule, and is only employed as an intervention. Apparently WHQR and the district also forgot about this presentation by the staff of College Park Elementary to the School Board on March 1:

LIE #3: SEL is just about behavior management

This schedule and these pilot programs show that SEL universalizes interventions that were already in place as a way to indoctrinate the entire student population with every element of the Woke Agenda. As former CASEL CASEL VP of Program Practice Melissa Schlinger says,

Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) are already in place, with three tiers of intervention applied on an as-needed basis to individual students, with minimal impact “to learning and culture for other students,” as COURAGEISAHABIT.ORG puts it. The trauma-informed SEL practiced at College Park “put[s] ALL children in Tier 1 intervention as ‘at-risk’ and in need of ‘proactive’ COLLECTIVE policies/methods to address ‘systemic inequities,’” with the goal of transforming the culture of the school, community, and the country.

That may sound like the ravings of a megalomaniacal crackpot, but it lines up with the stated goals of CASEL and the The School Superintendents Association (AASA).

LIE #4: SEL gets unfairly “dumped in the same bucket” as CRT

Consider these three slides from, “SEL as a Lever for Equity:”


Forms of SEL
Transformative SEL
Are Children Supposed to Understand This__Examing Beliefs and Biases_Collective Agency

All these elements are affirmed on the NHCS website. The district’s justice oriented goals are expressed in the “NHCS Stands for Equity”. This video regurgitates BLM slogans and positions, including calling the nationwide riots of 2020 “the exercise of free speech,” and making the ludicrous claim that our country is in the grips of white supremacy.

Most importantly, NHCS sees itself as an agent for societal change:

“we understand that as an educational system, we have a unique responsibility in fostering acceptance, understanding, and love in our community and its members.”

That is a beautiful sentiment. But the arrogance of a school system which thinks it can fix society when it still fails to educate or even keep its students physically safe, is dangerous.

The explicit goals of transformative SEL, according to CASEL, fit the language and goals of Critical Theory to a “T.” SEL, as it is conceived on the state level and deployed in NHCS is indistinguishable from CRT, and indispensable to the indoctrination of our kids.

The deeper dive into the core competencies of SEL below makes me think, “how can a kid, especially a grade-schooler, be expected to understand this?” They’re not. Again, all these fancy words are designed to look like sage expert talk to appease inquisitive adults.

Children will respond to the more clear and direct social and visual cues, and learn how to get rewards and avoid punishment by rote.

Here’s a perfect example from the NHCS website:

Diversity: The representation of all varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, origin, visible/invisible disabilities, learning styles, linguistics, etc.), collectively and as individuals.

The words tell adults that “diversity” means “representation of all.” But the picture tells kids the truth: “diversity” means no white, male, or straight identities will be represented. An identitarian caste system is being driven into our kids heads daily. That is why we must eradicate SEL.

Training adults/developing community partners

The purveyors of SEL sell a grandiose fantasy of world peace that will never be achieved. But that doesn’t mean the plans of outfits like AASA aren’t working. In “Learning 2025: National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education, the AASA says, “the realization of our vision in contingent upon everyone in the ecosystem.” That includes parents and “aligned community resources.” This aligns with the stated goals of Foust’s Strategic Plan, which include involving families and forming community partnerships.

These community partners will offer “a robust, multi-tiered system of supports,” to “learners’ families,” which integrates mental health support and other services. By these means SEL plans to make itself indispensable to the community; and it’s mission will be accepted by families who depend on its services and businesses who depend on its revenue.

This is what “Whole Learner” education means: making “partnership focused on building assets in children, families, schools, and communities.

When applied to the daily SEL Mental Health Check-In, it sounds like a grift.

If your chiropractor told you that you needed to get adjusted every day for the next 13 years, you’d know he was running a racket. The same applies to the daily SEL Mental Health Check-In. The victim of the unnecessary treatment (a violation of fundamental medical ethics) is your child. The beneficiary is a “community partner,” who will get the referrals manufactured by the SEL Mental Health Check-In. And the payee is you, the taxpayer, because referrals from the schools are all paid by Medicaid.

LIE #5: SEL is evidence-based

You think, “evidence-based,” means someone did a study on a certain practice and got good results, so you can trust it will work.

The red arrow indicates what “evidence,” actually means in SEL lingo. It’s a teacher filling out a form to provide the evidence of the policy being carried out in order to justify the policy that requires the teacher to fill out the form to provide the evidence…

I want to free teachers of these inane, central-office focused, non-academic distractions so they can teach!

What Evidence Based Learning Actually Means

Source: AASA Learning 2025 Commission

LIE #6: SEL is a normal part of teachers’ duties

RTI and PBIS are good tools that teachers need and should use. But teachers are not qualified to run a daily group therapy session; nor do they have the right to subject your child to such an extreme privacy violation. If a child misbehaves consistently, a teacher is qualified to send him to the counselor.

But if a shy child doesn’t participate in the Mental Health Check-In, that does not justify sending him to the counselor. Yet that is what CASEL recommends:

That’s to say nothing of the larger goals teachers are supposed to be responsible for under SEL: creating a world that is free of racism! Engaging in never-ending “training” and examination of their own “biases,” under the guise of “professional development.”

What if we just let them teach? What if “professional development” meant teachers deepening their knowledge in their own field of academic expertise?

CASEL3 Mental

LIE #8: SEL helps children

Trauma-based therapy has been debunked long ago. All therapy addresses trauma. But therapy that makes the subject identify with his trauma is a form of negative reinforcement, which is still used in behavior modification, AKA brainwashing, a sadistic tradition grounded in the work of Pavlov. Constant stress produces unquestioning obedience and passivity with disturbing consistency. SEL is designed to break kids down.

Social Emotional Learning_ Social Justice Indoctrination in New Hanover County

SEL causes trauma by ignoring it.

I spoke to a mother whose son has been in therapy since witnessing the New Hanover High shooting. He hates SEL instruction. He cannot understand why he’s being told he should feel bad about his privilege. Who can? “Collective agency” erases individual experience. “Cultural Humility” is code for making innocent white and Asian kids feel bad about themselves. Categorizing blacks and other minorities as “traditionally marginalized,” saddles them with a victim mentality. It’s bad for all children.

Lowering standards hurst all kids

“Cultural Responsiveness,” is code for lowering standards of academic achievement and behavior for the “traditionally marginalized.” This is the soft racism of lowered expectations. This kills the motivation of high-achieving students, and gives low achievers a permanent excuse for failure.

Susan Cole, NHCS’s positive culture and climate coordinator, claims, SEL produces, “an increase on standardized test scores and not a small one.” But according to an NCDPI report, one third of New Hanover County schools are “low-performing,” which is more than twice the number pre-pandemic. The results don’t support Cole’s claim.

Removing boundaries destroys individual responsibility

Focusing on cultural context rather than individual responsibility trains our kids to be dependent and passive, rather than independent and proactive. Distributive and restorative models of achievement and justice train kids to be dependent on centralized authority specifically.

New Hanover Stands for Equity” reports that NHCS is addressing discipline inequities, by “lower[ing] the number of disciplinary actions against marginalized students.” But NHCS’s own stats do not support district claims, as in 2021, black students were secluded at a rate 4 times that of their white counterparts.

Bullying through the lens of Equity

The new, Equity-focused definition of bullying: section B2 of Policy 4329/7311 says,

“Harassing behavior may violate this policy even if no harm is intended to the target and no power imbalance is evident.”

This is absurd. To manage bullying, we must identify children who target weaker children. Expanding the definition to include weaker kids who mean no harm gives cover to the actual bullies.

Section B3 says,

“Bullying or harassing behavior includes conduct that is, or reasonably appears to be, motivated by actual or perceived differentiating personal characteristics.”

Once bullying is defined by perceived motivations, it can be applied to any conduct. Bullies will be the first to learn that this turns the accusation of bullying into an easy-to-use weapon.

The new bullying can’t be fixed

If my child hits another kid, I can correct that behavior. But if the school says my son, who has ADHD, appears to be motivated by perceived differences, how do I fix that? How can he understand, or be held responsible for other people’s perceptions of his motivations?

And how does this help teachers? It’s hard enough to sort out who started it, now teachers have to figure out whose perception of the other’s motivations is correct? How will they judge who’s to blame? It’s easy.

SEL chooses winners and losers on identity, not behavior

This policy serves restorative justice. The goal is a two-tiered system where designated “victims” get a free pass to bully, and designated “victimizers” get punished for their beliefs, class, or the color of their skin. This policy makes victims of bullying less safe, and sets bullies up for a life of crime.

SEL creates constant anxiety

Undermining gender identity is an attack on children’s sense of self. The extraordinary stress of training our so-called privileged kids in constant shame, and our so-called marginalized kids in constant resentment has created a mental health crisis among our students. I will provide the shocking evidence for this in Friday’s blog.

Let’s Revisit: CRT is not taught in schools

Equity is a policy application of Critical Theory. CRT is woven into the fabric of NHCS.

NHCS has an Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and a District Equity Group. The School Board has a Committee of EDI. Under Policy 4004, Student Voice schools have Student Equity Teams.

This is exactly what Foust promised: “Addressing equity is our first step forward. Equal is not enough…We must address equity at every level.”

Equity isn’t just a facet of NHCS policy – it’s the district’s highest value. It trumps education, as the disastrous 50-100 grading policy demonstrated. But Equity isn’t an American value, a North Carolina value, or a Wilmington value, and it was imposed upon us without our consent.

Critical Theory is an outgrowth of Marxism, and aims at the redistribution of goods to achieve equality of outcomes. Critical Theory originally sought to create legal arguments for demanding restitution in cases where no present tort or living defendant was identifiable (i.e., reparations).

The basic idea of CRT is very simple: all relationships are based solely on power. All differences in status are down to oppression and therefore are unjust.

Equity calls for restorative justice. Restorative justice demands that past injustices be paid for with present injustices. Equity is designed to be unfair.

Equity is the creed of our schools. The District Equity Overview page is shot through with language that comes directly from Critical Theory: “implicit bias,”


“institutional racism,”



“working to dismantle systems of oppression and injustice,” etc…

CRT is not just taught in our schools. It is applied.

There’s So Little the Board Can Do, Says Longtime District Employee

I recently sat down with a 50-year veteran of NHCS to discuss the issues and learn from her experience. This extraordinary woman has served in almost every position in the district, from teaching, to serving on the School Board, and ultimately, in the administration. She lamented about how little the School Board can actually accomplish.

Mandates Are the Issue

Mandates that come down from the state and fed tie board members’ hands when it comes to making local policy. If you don’t follow the mandate, you don’t get the funding. Teachers have to “teach to the test,” rather than cater to individual students. Student achievement drops. And the community is left to wonder why they vote for School Board, when their voice matters so little.

Hope: What the School Board CAN DO

The one thing the School Board can and should do, my friend explained, is control the Superintendent.

I agree wholeheartedly. The Superintendent is the employee of the School Board. He works for us, and we work for you. The one way this community can resist transformative SEL is to FIRE FOUST. Then we should hire a Superintendent who will work FOR US, to apply the RTI and PBIS elements of SEL, and reject its destructive, Woke elements.

FIRE FOUST is my most controversial position. I have gotten tremendous pushback from the establishment of BOTH parties on this issue. But I am not running to serve the establishment. I am running to serve students, teachers, and parents, and to exercise our right to remove failing administrators.

I WILL NOT BACK DOWN. I repeat my invitation to my fellow GOP candidates to join me in signing the Education Over Indoctrination Pledge, which calls specifically to fire Foust for cause.

Together, we will take our schools back!

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