(2010) CHANGE Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment Series Part 1

On October 21, 2010

As a conservative resurgence seeks to check liberal/statist policy failures and abuses of power this election season, most voter tend to think in terms of established political parties and their associated interest groups. As the process wind down to Election Day, it’s understandable amid the partisan noise to lose sight of radical political organizations operating under the voter’s radar that could pose a substantive threat to Forsyth County’s social fabric.

The relatively unknown radical progressive group Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment (CHANGE) is an excellent example of this kind of organization. As voters weigh Forsyth County School Board candidate selections that will determine future school policy decisions, it is vitally important that they understand this group and how its agenda could impact how their children will be educated.

Headed up by Reverend Ryan Eller, a Wake Forest Divinity School graduate and former campaign manager for unsuccessful Democrat U.S. House candidate Roy Carter, and supported by Linda Sutton, Chairperson of the Forsyth County Board of Elections, CHANGE is an ecumenical nonprofit organization made up of a collation of progressive left-wing neighborhood associations, charities and faith-based interest groups that strive for “social change.” The scope of that change can be seen in the group’s agenda for Forsyth County Schools announced during their recent spring assembly.

That agenda was composed of three main objectives. The first objective involved a take over of the Forsyth County School Board with CHANGE candidates. The second intention mandated an end to out-of-school suspensions (OSS) except in the case of violence and crime, while the final goal dealt with improvements in school assignment and diversity.

According to CHANGE, all children have a right to an education, even those students who are unruly, disruptive, or disrespectful. Their Voter Guide stated, “Violent behaviors/school safety has rarely been the basis of OSS. Disrespect and oppositional behaviors have been main reasons [sic]. Subjective judgments and discrimination toward minorities clearly show, particularly black males [sic].” The group’s syntax may be garbled, but their own “subjective judgment” is quite clear: out-of-school suspensions are the result of racism, rather than a disciplinary check on student anti-social behavior.

What does this mean for your child? When schoolteachers or administrators can no longer suspend disrespectful and/or oppositional students regardless of race/nationality, your child, regardless of race/nationality, will lose the right to a peaceful and focused learning environment. As a consequence, teachers would be transformed into ineffectual babysitters and referees as quality education for each child suffers.

This is at odds with CHANGE’s fundamental premise that “education is a right.” If that is so, how can that “right” be defended when the “rights” of serious students of all races/nationalities fall victim to the “rights” of disruptive students, regardless of their race? CHANGE has not bothered to addresses this apparent conflict.

The group’s third objective appears benign enough: to improve school assignment and diversity. Demonstrating a left-wing penchant for ignoring individual responsibility, accountability and self-determination, CHANGE prefers to focus on tackling racism, anti-Semitism, bullying, and homosexual hate crimes as the actual barriers to increased diversity in our schools. With this “approach,” there appears to be only one way to increase diversity — the application of new school assignments through forced busing.

This failed and contentious retrograde tactic used by liberals in the 1970’s has dire implications for parents and their children in Forsyth County. Under the progressive’s guise of achieving “diversity,” parents would be denied the ability to choose their children’s school and to exercise judgment as to what would be in their best interests. According to incumbent School Board candidate Jeannie Metcalf, Forsyth County places around 90% of children according to the parent’s choice.

If CHANGE has its way, your child will be assigned to a school for diversity’s sake — requiring busing outside of your neighborhood and tax increases to pay for additional transportation costs.

The organization’s primary objective this election cycle is a takeover of the Forsyth County School Board.  In 2009, CHANGE candidates began intensive lobbying for N.C. Legislature House Bill 833, This bill would have made Forsyth County School Board races non-partisan. Their rationale is simple: relatively unknown CHANGE candidates have a better chance at gaining a seat on the School Board when party distinctions are removed.

Until voters in Forsyth County become better informed and understand this radical progressive group and its potentially harmful agenda, children in Forsyth County School face a CHANGE for the worst.

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