Kush­ner: At­tend­ing Wake schools helped make my kids ‘anti-racist, anti-misog­y­nist’

The News & Observer - - Triangle & N.c. - BY T. KE­UNG HUI [email protected]­sob­server.com

A Wake County school board mem­ber’s pub­lic com­ments that at­tend­ing di­verse schools made her chil­dren “anti-racist, anti-misog­y­nist” and “an­ti­ho­mo­pho­bic” is draw­ing both praise and crit­i­cism.

On Tues­day, Chris­tine Kush­ner was among eight Wake school board mem­bers who were sworn in for two-year terms and who gave pre­pared re­marks. Dur­ing her speech at the school board meet- ing, Kush­ner touted the ben­e­fits her two now adult chil­dren re­ceived when they were stu­dents in the Wake school sys­tem.

“They are to me the great­est ex­am­ples of prod­ucts of Wake County schools,” Kush­ner said. “They were in di­verse, in­te­grated, rig­or­ous ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and they are now anti-racist, anti-misog­y­nist, an­ti­ho­mo­pho­bic fully formed adults out in the world pur­su­ing their dreams, and that is be­cause of the Wake County Pub­lic School Sys­tem.”

Kush­ner’s chil­dren at­tended mag­net schools, in­clud­ing En­loe High School in east Raleigh, which are typ­i­cally lo­cated in higher-poverty ar­eas. Mag­nets of­fer unique pro­grams to at­tract ap­pli­cants from more af­flu­ent ar­eas.

Based on all that pub­lic schools have done for her and her fam­ily, Kush­ner said Tues­day that she’s com­mit­ted to work hard for ev­ery child, ev­ery day.

Kush­ner was elected to the board in 2011 in an ex­pen­sive, hard-fought cam­paign in which Democrats re­gained the ma­jor­ity on the school board. One of the is­sues they fought for was to re­store di­ver­sity as a fac­tor in the stu­dent as­sign­ment pol­icy, al­though school board mem­ber Keith Sut­ton ac­knowl­edged dur­ing his speech Tues­day that the fo­cus now is more on eq­uity than di­ver­sity.

Some par­ents praised Kush­ner for her re­marks.

“This right here is an AMAZ­ING woman to have fight­ing for our kids!” tweeted Les­lie Dom­balis, a Raleigh mother.

But other par­ents crit­i­cized Kush­ner for her com­ments.

“IMO, an in­cred­i­bly bizarre and con­de­scend­ing state­ment to make as a# wcpss SB rep,” tweeted Al­li­son Back­house, a long­time critic of the school board. “Then again, I ex­pect noth­ing less from this woman.”

Back­house com­plained in an­other tweet that Kush­ner’s chil­dren ben­e­fited from mag­net schools while stu­dents in sub­ur­ban schools didn’t get amaz­ing cour­ses and faced the threat of re­as­sign­ment and con­vert­ing to a year-round cal­en­dar.

Chris­tine Kush­ner

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