In response to ProPublica’s request for comment on the email exchange the lost city parents guide the lost city parents guide, a district spokesperson said on behalf of Scamihorn, “Your claim that Mr. Scamihorn “agreed 100 percent” that “anyone pushing CRT on CCSD time should be immediately terminated” is “grossly inaccurate and not consistent with the email you are referencing.” The Cobb Board did pass a resolution telling the District to focus on keeping schools schools and not on political distractions.
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In response the lost city parents guide the lost city parents guide to another email complaining about CRT, Floresta told the sender that it was against district policy to teach it. The sender then pointed out that Cobb had hired “Cecelia Lewis, a well-known supporter of CRT and DEI agents who recently quit Cherokee County because of the pushback from the parents.”
“How in the world did Dr. Cecelia Lewis get hired the lost city parents guide ?” the email continued. “It is ABSURD to think that anyone would think this was a good idea. We need answers on this right away, and an explanation of what her role is in the County. Listing her under Social Studies doesn’t fool any of us.”
On Lewis’s the lost city parents guide fourth day on the job, one of the district secretaries sent her a message.
“A parent called me and asked if you were the same person hired in Cherokee County. I told her someone would call her back to answer her questions.”
Lewis’ boss soon told her to send all of these messages to her office and to wait to answer any emails about her hiring. This was after Lewis responded to a note from a supportive parent that was positive.
The next week the lost city parents guide, Lewis was supposed to meet all of the social studies teachers at a district-wide training meeting. She said that before the Panera meeting, she had been asked to prepare a presentation and talk about the program’s goals.
She said that she was then asked to cut the presentation down to just a few slides, and then to just one slide the lost city parents guide.
She finally found out that she wouldn’t even be recognized as the new head of social studies at the meeting.
“When the day came, I was told I had to sit in the back and help the presenter change the slides. I wasn’t even introduced,” Lewis said.
Lewis said that when she introduced herself to each teacher, she got a warm welcome. Some teachers said they’d heard she’d arrived and were wondering when they’d meet her.
She remembered that not long after the meeting, other parts of her job started to change. Her emails to social studies teachers had to be approved before she could send them, and she was now working on a special project reviewing thousands of resources that the district had already approved and adopted.
“They pretty much put me away,” Lewis said. “Every meeting was canceled. Every professional learning opportunity I was supposed to lead with my team, I couldn’t do. Every department meeting with different schools, I was told I can’t go.”
Lewis says that the only people she could talk to directly without being screened were other supervisors.
“They were wasting their money,” she said. “I’m just sitting here in this room every day, looking through resources that have already been approved, which makes no sense, and I haven’t been told much about what I’m looking for, other than to make sure they’re aligned to standards, which they were.”
Lewis asked for a meeting with her boss and the district’s chief academic officer at the end of August. She told them that she would be leaving her job in two weeks.
The next day the lost city parents guide, district leaders sent her one last email.
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“As we talked about, it is never our goal as an organization for an employee to feel anything other than the support and collegiality of a positive and professional work environment,” the email said. “Please know that your concerns and feedback as an individual and employee were heard and valued.”
ProPublica sent the Cobb County School District and its school board a list of detailed questions about the hiring of Lewis, the community backlash, and the changes to her job. A school district spokesperson said, “Cecelia Lewis was hired by the Cobb County School District in the summer of 2021. She voluntarily submitted her letter of resignation in the early fall of 2021. Like every Team member, her contributions and work for students were greatly appreciated.”
Anti-CRT groups didn’t stop their work when Lewis left not one but two school districts. In fact, the groups used Lewis’s departure as a call to arms.
In August 2021, Educate Cherokee, a group with a now-defunct website that calls itself on Facebook a local chapter of the national conservative nonprofit No Left Turn in Education, said it would hold an event. A notice about the event said it would be led by Heda, who had spoken at the clubhouse and school board meetings, and Raney, who had brought up Lewis’ salary at the school board meeting.
In the months that followed the lost city parents guide, four candidates for the school board, Michael “Cam” Waters, Ray Lynch, Sean Kaufman, and Chris Gregory, worked together to get a majority on the board. They did this in part by getting rid of board members who had been attacked after Lewis was hired.
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The candidates called themselves 4CanDoMore and started a website. At the top, it says, “In May of 2021, Cherokee County was surprised to hear that our “conservative” board voted to bring in Cecelia Lewis as Administrator on Special Assignment, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). However, her history was full of Critical Race Theory (CRT) ideologies in her previous school district. Why would the current board vote 7-0 to br br br br br br br br
In March of 2022, the 4CanDoMore candidates got a boost. The 1776 Project PAC, which was started last year by author and OANN political correspondent Ryan Girdusky, had been targeting open school board seats across the country and backing candidates who ran on platforms to ban CRT and the 1619 Project. (The super PAC’s name is a reference to an advisory committee that Trump set up in response to the 1619 Project. Trump’s 1776 Commission wanted to support a “patriotic
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In 2021, the lost city parents guide the 1776 Project PAC backed 69 candidates for school boards in eight states. According to its website, 55 of those candidates won their seats, including all 15 candidates in Texas that the PAC backed.
The first people the 1776 Project PAC backed in 2022 were the 4CanDoMore candidates the lost city parents guide.
Girdusky did not answer when asked more than once what he thought about the decision to focus on Cherokee County candidates.
Two of the 4CanDoMore candidates lost their primaries to incumbents in May. The other two, Kaufman and Lynch, moved on to a June runoff. Kahaian, the paralegal who told parents in the clubhouse how to prepare for an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show, also made it to the June runoff. She is running for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Even though the school board might change, there have already been some changes in the Cherokee County School District, such as a ban on using the word “equity” in any district projects.
“We had to stop using the word because people changed what it meant,” said Jacoby, the communications director for Cherokee County Schools. “So we had to take the word out of the equation and say, ‘OK, fine, ‘access.’ There’s no way around the fact that access is important.”
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Lewis moved back to her home state of Maryland and still works in education, but her job doesn’t focus mainly on DEI. “My official title may not include the acronym, but I am committed to celebrating diversity and promoting equity and inclusion,” Lewis said.
She also said that teachers shouldn’t forget how important they are and how much of a difference they can make in the lives of children, even though they are being attacked more and more. “No one can take that away from us,” she said.
Today, the metal detectors remain installed at the entrance to the building where Cherokee County School Board meetings are held. A staff member is permanently assigned the task of evacuating students in attendance, should the need ever arise. And an increased number of security officers are strategically placed throughout the meeting room and beyond.
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When mothers were waiting in line outside the building before a recent school board meeting, they called each other “a Marjorie.” This meant that they liked the way Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke, who is known for making bold and unfiltered claims.
After a while, when the meeting had already started, a man who said he was a school bus driver and a grandfather spoke up during the public comment time.
“This isn’t California or New York; it’s Cherokee County, Georgia. On a local level, we can decide what and how our students learn,” the man said.
“I grew up in a different time, in the 1950s and 1960s, when we had everything we needed to live and do well.”