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NHCS School Board Candidates Mason and Sutton Sign “Education Over Indoctrination Pledge”

by Staff

May 1, 2022

UPDATE 5/25/2022

From Melissa:

“Congratulations to all Republican winners of the May 17 Primary! Well done especially to the fantastic foursome who made it through the School Board race. 

“We’ve received feedback that some teachers are concerned that ending SEL will remove some of the tools that help them help kids. I would never remove tools that help teachers help kids. I stand firm in my conviction that these tools can and should be used without the larger framework of SEL, and that no tools that help a child can prosper within the framework of SEL. SEL is designed to teach children to be dependent and saddles them with a victim mentality. Any tool which teachers use to help kids will only become more powerful once SEL is gone. We are on the side of teachers and kids – it’s the same side.

“One other candidate has expressed support for four out of five points of the pledge. This is progress! Much of the feedback I’ve gotten has been around concern over pledging to fire Foust before having a clear case against him. I commend this caution. I believe the case is clear, and I plan to make it comprehensively, convincingly, and soon.

“I continue to invite all the candidates to have an open, collegial, face-to-face discussion of the pledge. I will not compromise on the pledge, but I remain committed to working with my colleagues by identifying what we agree on, and taking swift, decisive action.”

The bell Glenn Youngkin rang last fall is echoing now in New Hanover County.

“We must defeat the Woke Agenda that is destroying our children academically, emotionally, and socially,” said Board of Education candidate Melissa Mason last Thursday evening.

Before a packed crowd of Republican faithful at the New Hanover GOP headquarters, Mason introduced and signed the “Education Over Indoctrination Pledge.” The Pledge outlines five policy goals on which Mason believes Republicans must be united.

Judging by the response from the crowd, Mason and the pledge have the full support of the Republican base. During her short address, she received eight ovations, by far the most of any candidate that night.

Chris Sutton also signed the pledge, taking time from his own stump speech to endorse Mason, and explain some of his own reasons for signing. “He’s gotta go,” said Sutton, referring to Superintendent Dr. Foust.

The pledge states:

  1. Remove 100% of CRT, SEL, EDI, and Woke Indoctrination from the curriculum and administration;
  2. Make school choice available to all parents, including advocating for 100% of the money to follow the child;
  3. Remove all obscene material from the schools, and age-inappropriate sexual content from all curricula;
  4. Fire Superintendent Dr. Foust for cause; and,
  5. Defend parents’ rights by ending the Gender Support Plan.

Sutton was so eager to sign, he jumped up before Mason had even finished her remarks. “I’m actually very glad that you added the ‘woke indoctrination’ at the end, because the problem that we have is they continue to change the names,” he said. “They’ll hide it all behind the most cute names in the world.”

“I can’t do this by myself,” said Mason in her speech. “I cannot do this without three other solid candidates with me. So if there are any candidates that want to sign this, I would love to be a team with you.”

Mason was held long after the event by appreciative voters. “I got so many great reactions from so many people, it’s good to see the unity in the Republican rank-and-file. These are common sense fixes to the obvious problems in our schools.”

Even candidates from other races got excited about the pledge. Congressional candidate Max Southworth-Beckwith, who is challenging incumbent David Rouzer, convinced Mason to let him sign the document, even though he isn’t running for school board. “I support these goals, and I believe conservatives should stand together.” Mason agrees, and though she is most interested in getting her fellow school board candidates to sign, she’s inviting similar “support” signatures from any Republican candidate running in New Hanover County.

“Max is right. I always talk about ‘juntos’ (Spanish for ‘together’) and we all definitely need to be together on these core issues.”

Mason is awaiting responses from 3 candidates. “I think it’s very responsible to think about something before you sign it, but I’m confident my conservative colleagues will join me in this pledge.” Please note, Wildeboer missed the event due to the passing of a loved one, and Barnhardt had to leave early, so neither had the opportunity to sign that day.

(Click image to enlarge.)

Download the Latest Pledge Document

The pledge will be updated on this page as signatures from candidates are added. Download the PDF version of the most recent Pledge document HERE.

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The New Hanover County Board of Education election is very competitive this year and she’ll need all the resources she can get. Please consider supporting her efforts to bring positive change to our public education system by donating to her campaign.