Conservative pledge by three new Johnston school board members causing worry


JOHNSTON, Iowa –There is often strength in numbers.

“I do congratulate them on their win. It was a vote and it was an election,” said Lya Williams who unsuccessfully ran for the Johnston School Board.

Derek Tidball, Deb Davis, and Clint Evans are all Johnston school board candidates strengthened by the 1776 pledge to save our schools garnering them each 16% of the vote and a win over four other candidates like Lya Williams. Williams serves on the Johnston Community School District equity committee. Williams said, “CRT is not taught in school so all that pledge had and all the candidates that stood behind it were dealing in falseness. It was not true.”

Many wonder if the commitments in the 1776 pledge including “Teaching children to view one another not according to race,” could be in direct conflict to the newly created director of equity, inclusion, and belonging position. It is a position the previous board and community members like Shalome Musignac Jordan who also serves on the equity committee helped create. “We have talked to parents that feel very unsafe, especially since they have won, wanting to pull their kids out of the district,” said Shalome.

Those backed by 1776 action pledge to fight against anti-radical indoctrination and to restore education as patriotic. Williams said, “Something that was about being proud to support your military and law enforcement now has a completely different undertone.”

The pledge aims to ensure a district’s curriculum stops teaching children their country is immoral and harmful to society. Shalome said, “We want all students to feel heard, affirmed, and safe. To see themselves in the curriculum and staff so there’s been so much work and now it feels we’ve taken a step back.”

The pledge agrees that children should view each other as individuals made in God’s image and that African Americans like Frederick Douglas and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr should be honored as heroes. It does not say anything about acknowledging the evils of slavery. “At the end of the day, whether we outline it as Black history or Latino history it is still history and the more we keep erasing stuff the more we aren’t teaching the truth in general,” Williams said.

WHO 13 News reached out to all three of the winning candidates but they respectfully declined to comment on their future plans as school board members.

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