Recently Resigned School Board Member Makes For A Contentious WS/FCS Board Meeting

Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting was a tense one. Let’s hope that our new Superintendent, Dr. Angela P. Hairston isn’t tempted to move back to Georgia and beg for her old job back. Lori Goins Clark’s recent resignation dominated Dr. Hairston’s first BOE meeting. Goins Clark’s racist text to a fellow board member (and inadvertently to Dr. Simington-the object of the text) divided the board. Board Chair, Malishai Woodbury was ready to move on and let the County’s attorneys handle the matter.

Universal African American History At WSFC Schools And The City Council’s African American Heritage Action Initiative Is A Step Forward

After several months of sustained activism (passing out flyers, hosting public events and attending long school board meetings) Hate Out of Winston, a local activist group that came together during Winston’s Confederate statue controversy has succeeded in getting WSFC Schools to consider universal African American history classes in the fall. (Mandatory sounds so negative, learning African American history is a positive for WS/FCS students regardless of the color of their skin. That’s why I’m using the term universal instead of mandatory.)

Earlier today, Triad City Beat reported that “that the curriculum committee of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board will consider adding a mandatory African-American studies class to the high school curriculum at its October meeting.” Jordan Green’s article noted that several local Black politicians are publicly supporting universal African American history classes. Student Minister Effrainguan Muhammad told Green that the “Winston-Salem Local Organizing Committee has been asking for a mandatory African-American studies course for the past three years” only to get the runaround from the WSFC School Board.

Undemocratic Alliances And Backroom Deals: Winston We Have A Problem

There is little question which local Winston-Salem/Forsyth County political body is currently home to the most compelling political debates. It’s not the Winston-Salem City Council, though the Confederate statue controversy has heated things up at City Hall recently. It’s certainly not the rather dull mid-afternoon Forsyth County Commissioners’ meetings. The epicenter of political debate and activism right now in our community is the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board. In 2018, the WS/FC School Board was home to contentious debates regarding the health of students and faculty at Ashley Academy, teacher compensation, and a multi-use stadium (i.e., a football stadium) for R.J. Reynolds’ High School.

A Spirited Historical Marker Ceremony At The Former 14th Street School

Saturday, I went to the 14th Street School historical marker and an East Winston pep-rally broke out. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many folks turned out, approximately 50 people, possibly more. That’s a stronger turnout than these type of ceremonies typically get in Winston. The vast majority of the crowd were wearing red, white, and blue t-shirts signifying that they were former students at the 14th Street School. There were a lot of old friends in the audience.

As Salem’s 2017 Class Walks, We Should Remember Those Who Sat

Salem College’s commencement was held today at the Lawrence Joel. Susan Goldberg, the first woman to serve as editor in chief of National Geographic Magazine, addressed the Salem Class of 2017. Her presence at Salem wasn’t the media circus that Jill Abramson’s 2014 commencement address at Wake Forest was. Abramson, The Times’ first executive editor, was controversially fired by our nation’s paper of record just days before she came to Winston. Her firing ignited a lively debate about women in management on social media.

In Honor Of Labor Day, Rename Reagan High School

Recently the Guilford County School Board voted to have Charles Aycock’s name removed from Aycock Middle School. Folks in Winston can be forgiven if they haven’t been following the Aycock controversy in Greensboro. Perhaps most people in Winston don’t know who Charles Aycock was? Charles Aycock was one of the key figures in the white supremacy campaign of 1898. In 1894 a fusionist coalition of white Democrats who were tired of the planter class’ domination of state politics teamed up with black Republicans and won.

SciTech: More Public Relations Than Panacea

This year’s SciTech just concluded yesterday. SciTech is a two week summer day camp for elementary and middle school students that immerses them in math and science. SciTech also takes students on field trips to places like Caterpillar’s Axle manufacturing plant, so that they can see real world applications of what they’re learning in the classroom. SciTech is sponsored by the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in partnership with Winston-Salem State University. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that approximately 100 students participated in this year’s SciTech.