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US Attorney General Merrick Garland released a memorandum in early October instructing the FBI and US attorneys across the country to hold meetings at the local and state levels to “discuss strategies for dealing with threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff. ”

Monday night, Surry County Commissioner Eddie Harris made it clear that he opposes such moves and that federal authorities should stay out of local school decisions.

He did so by tabled a resolution unanimously adopted by the board of directors calling on parents to openly share their thoughts and concerns with school authorities and calling on the county’s three school systems to voice their displeasure with federal authorities.

The Garland memo is in response to a letter from the National School Boards Association in September asking for help in strong words. “We call for federal government intervention against individuals or hate groups targeting our schools and educators.”

The national school board has since tried to soften their language, in what some say the Garland memo becomes irrelevant. One point of contention is the use of the phrases “hate groups” and “domestic terrorism” in the original letter, which Garland does not use.

The Garland memo cited “a disturbing increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against … (those) involved in the vital work of our country’s public school”. While it is recognized that “intellectual debate” is protected, protection of freedom of expression does not allow threats of violence or intimidation. AG Garland writes that such threats or intimidation are not only illegal, but “they run counter to the core values ​​of our nation”.

Harris sees this as an encroachment on a personal area of ​​the parents’ life, not to mention a possible violation of the First Amendment. “Parents’ right to engage their electoral school bodies on any subject is fundamental to a free and open society and to protecting the best interests of our nation’s children,” the resolution said.

Commissioner Harris, and later Commissioner Van Tucker, shared their view that indoctrination could be at risk in our schools. Harris writes that Garland wants to use federal law enforcement resources to silence parents who question “The divisive, harmful, immoral and awakened policies of the progressive left to develop social justice.”

“The nation burns with these issues that revolve around them. I think everyone knows what they are and I have no intention of going back to them here tonight, ”Harris said in his remarks. The term Critical Race Theory was mentioned more than once in the board meeting as an example of the type of indoctrination school children might face.

To do this, parents need to be able to speak and cooperate with their school authorities. The resolution states: “Parents, through their elected school board, should have total and complete control over what their children teach and what they are exposed to.”

The resolution states that the three local school boards are urged “to take appropriate, in-kind measures to express their contempt for the misguided and intolerant policies of the Biden administration attacking Surry County’s parents “.

At that point the resolution found its only point of discussion when Chairman Mark Marion asked for an amendment which was approved by replacing the “Biden Administration” with a phrase that said no administration would protect the rights of Surry County’s parents should hurt.

Commissioner Bill Goins concluded by saying: “One of the things that is urgently needed in our society is courtesy, the ability to stand in front of a group of people and do so in a civilized way. We can have a civil discourse and not be ugly to one another. “

In comments made prior to the adoption of the resolution, the board agreed that local law enforcement agencies were more than capable enough to deal with potential threats to school committee meetings. The Harris Resolution passed the board unanimously.

In other board news:

– The board received their COVID-19 booster vaccinations at the encouragement of District Health Director Samantha Ange.

– The board of directors congratulated and praised the city of Dobson for a successful Halloween fiesta. Chairwoman Marion noted that it was difficult to find parking because so many people had come to the event, which means it must have been a hit.

The board approved the purchase of a warehouse for the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center.

– An additional US $ 300,000 will be allocated by the county to the ongoing Camp Creek River restoration and dam repair project. With this addition, the total projected total for the entire program, which includes Big Elkin Creek, Camp Creek, and Mitchell River, will be $ 3,300,000.

– An agreement has been reached between the county and the State Employees Credit Union to extend the lease for the ATM at the Surry County Service Center / Farmer’s Market in Dobson. The new lease runs for five years.

Finally, as a treat for the Board of Commissioners, five new Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scouts were honored for their achievements by the Board of Directors. Promoting a boy scout to the rank of eagle is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a boy scout.

“The Eagle Scout Award is a big thing for these young men, it opens doors. People look at it when you write it on your résumé, people look at it and it’s something that is still valued in this country, ”said Commissioner and Eagle Scout Bill Goins, praising the new Eagles. He went on to testify that when the uniform is hung, “the gangs of spying last forever.”

The following were honored as Eagle Scouts:

Jacob Tillman, Troop 561: Tillman cleaned up the eco-trail in Meadowview Middle for his project.

Brandon Hall, Troop 553: Hall saw the need and made improvements to the White Plains Youth Foundation gym.

Brandon Isaacs, Troop 529: Isaacs was working on a six-foot rock climbing wall in Surry Central for his Eagle Service project.

Thomas Lawson, Troop 561: Lawson served his community by performing weld repairs on a damaged gate at the Shoals Recreation Center.

Noah Khuri, Troop 505: Khuri built a foldable and transportable stage for the Autism Society of North Carolina.

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