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School board attorney responds to NCAE claims

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The attorney for the New Hanover County School Board says the board has done nothing wrong in its discussions about political activities by teachers on campus.

Today the board released a letter from its attorney Wayne Bullard to attorneys for the North Carolina Association of Educators in response to a letter the school board received Wednesday from the NCAE.

In his letter Bullard wrote that the board did not hold an illegal closed meeting Nov. 4. Bullard said the session was closed because board members were discussing whether certain employees were violating the board’s policies about political activities at school and whether certain administrators were enforcing the policies. He said by law such discussions of personnel matters must be discussed in private.

Bullard also said the district does not have a ban on “Red for Ed” shirts in schools. He wrote that the board clarified its position at a work session Tuesday to say it was not aware of district employees being “threatened with disciplinary action for exercising their Constitutional rights.”

“Suffice it to say that the Board is concerned about orchestrated political activities by its teachers taking place on school grounds in front of students who are a captive audience,” Bullard wrote. “The (b)oard clearly has the right and responsibility to regulate such conduct and speech.”

Bullard also said the board “strongly supports public education.”

“However, unlike some groups, the (b)board supports all stakeholders in public education,” he wrote.


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