Todd Chasteen came to the State Board of Education in 2016 having been nominated by then Gov. Pat McCrory. Ironically, the senior education advisor to McCory at the time was current State Superintendent, Catherine Truitt.
Maybe that is not ironic.
Today, it was reported that Chasteen was resigning from the State Board of Education citing “activism.”
“In February when the board passed Social Studies Standards by a slim majority, standards that many of us concluded, and thousands of parents agreed, were unproductive, regressive and unhelpful to the students of this wonderful state, it became more difficult to see where I could add value,” Chasteen wrote in his letter. “The trajectory away from what some of us believed actually helped students, away from education towards activism, became much more likely, if not inevitable.”
Activism? That’s rich coming from Chasteen.
In 2015, Mr. Chasteen was vetted in a report by Lindsay Wagner when she worked as the education correspondent for NC Policy Watch. Her April 24, 2015 report entitled “Censorship controversy, thin record spark concerns over McCrory’s State Board of Ed nominee” spoke loudly when considering that he was in all probability to be appointed to the empty Northwest NC vacancy.
Chasteen’s efforts in banning a book called The House of the Spirits from a Watauga County classroom garnered a lot of media, especially when it was revealed that his boss at the time, Franklin Graham, was also actively trying to have it banned as well. According to Chasteen the book was simply a vehicle for promiscuity. He said,
“If the Bible contained the 59 sexual references and the graphic, descriptive detail of The House, my kids would not read the Bible, nor would I. Mr. Mckay stretched to find a few violent, non-descript stories in the Bible of 1500 pages. The House, 59 depictions in 430 pages, a pattern, pervasive vulgarity, and very descriptive. The Bible, as non-graphic, does not say that King David enjoyed “the dark, hot, juicy cavern of her _____.” This is not a mere nuance. The reading of the Bible does not produce sensual arousal.”
Wagner continued in her article,
“Todd Chasteen appears to have strong connections in private, religious education.
His wife, Kim, runs a private Christian school in Boone called Grace Academy. And Chasteen is a proponent of home schooling, having served as a government instructor for High Country Christian Home Schoolers.
Chasteen’s bio for HCCHS says he “has a passion to help ground and prepare our students against an onslaught of liberal views that they may face in higher education, and to be able to convey the subject matter with academic freedom.”
Has a “passion” to work “against an onslaught of (different) views?”
Sounds like “direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.”
An activist put on the state school board resigns because of supposed activism?