In Forsyth County, a group of parents has been organizing for months to prevent the election of what they see as extremist candidates to the school board.

They’re called Parents 4 Pub Ed. 

Valerie Brockenbrough is a parent of three and part of the group. She says she doesn’t want to see the hyper-political school board conflicts that are happening across the country, happen in this district. 

“A lot of people are running on the school board that want to undermine public education,” she said. “And there are people attacking teachers, telling that teachers are grooming children, that there is CRT in school. And those are not happening in our schools. And we cannot let people like that get on the school board.”

Last year, the National School Boards Association wrote a letter to President Joe Biden. They were seeking assistance to deal with what they called the “growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation” against public schools and education leaders. 

The letter specifically mentions attacks on school boards for COVID-19 policies, and the widespread, inaccurate claims of critical race theory being taught in K-12 schools. 

Those two topics are at the forefront of campaigns for multiple Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board candidates, including Regina Garner, Sarah Absher, and Susan Miller, the replacement candidate for Stan Elrod who died last month

That’s troublesome for some parents like Jenny Marshall, a teacher and parent of two children in Forsyth County. She attended a barbecue hosted by Parents 4 Pub Ed in August.

“These are people who have like very skewed views of what's going on in the classroom. And the vast majority of the stuff that they're talking about is fabricated,” she said. “So I'm very worried that those views are going to get on the school board and then just going to leech into our system, and really do a lot of harm.”

In Forsyth County, there are 14 candidates running for the school board. 

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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