Controversy over a lesson being taught by Chapin High School teacher Mary Wood brought a maximum crowd to the Lexington Richland Five school board meeting on Monday, July 17.
The book ’Between the World and Me’ written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who attended the meeting, is about racism experiences through first-hand encounters. The book made one student ‘feel guilty’ about being white which contributed to the lessons being halted. The question for most attending is whether the lessons violate a state budget proviso passed in 2022 that limits discussion about race.
Many parents object to the teachings and think the district needs to follow the guidelines set by the proviso. Others disagree and were present to support the teachers and Academic Freedom. The board held a discussion about the policy but took no votes concerning the lessons. Dr. Akil Ross, Lexington Richland Five Superintendent, spoke during the meeting and said “…what matters most to me is that students have the ability, to hear six or seven different opinions on one topic and come up with their own thesis.”