Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson is a hyper-conservative Republican and self-proclaimed “man of God,” Since his election as the state’s Lieutenant governor last year, he instituted a task force to review public school systems and the teaching styles used in them to compile the “Indoctrination in North Carolina Public Education Report.” That report, Robinson claimed, would offer proof that students were being swayed to accept leftist viewpoints via classroom curriculum and certain suspect teachers..
Robinson was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and ran for Lt. Gov. against Yvonne Lewis Holley in 2020; a win that made him the first Black Lieutenant Governor in N.C. history. Since his early days, Robinson has been extremely open about his beliefs and adherence to his interpretation of Christian principles.
After the Pulse shooting in 2016, Robinson said, “Homosexuality is still an abominable sin and I will not join in ‘celebrating gay pride.’” Robinson’s opinions went viral during a Greensboro City Council meeting when he spoke out as a strong supporter of gun rights, which led the National Rifle Association to extend a personal invitation to Robinson for their annual convention. Robinson has spewed xenophobic rhetoric against American Muslims and called Michelle Obama “a man.”
In creating the anti-LGBTQ task force, Robinson says that he and his fellow Republican leaders aim “to stop the abuse of the teaching profession by a few who are using that profession to put undue pressure on young minds to accept their way of thinking.” In Robinson’s mind, elementary, middle and high school teachers are polluting children’s brains by enforcing a leftist agenda.
The task force’s findings, which are comprised of complaints from parents, staff and students, include grievances with children’s books, vocabulary lessons and example graphics. One such graphic was titled “flying gender unicorn” and taught kids about the spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt offered some half-hearted support for the task force’s findings. “In reading this report, it’s clear that some have used their personal and political beliefs to influence students rather than to educate them.”
Robinson also made a point of mentioning the book “George” by Alex Gino. This children’s book tells the journey of a transgender girl as she struggles to be herself in fourth grade. The Lieutenant Governor says this piece of literature is about a “biological boy” who “talks about cutting off male genitalia and [undergoing] hormone therapy.”
Although a Black man himself, Robinson and his largely white constituents have also called for public schools in North Carolina to ban the promotion of Critical Race Theory and have created a bill, which recently passed the Senate, to achieve their goals.
Known as House Bill 324, Robinson had apparently hoped to find justification for the bill through the task force’s findings. Both the Raleigh News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer, however, have proclaimed the task force efforts “a dud” and reported that Robinson’s efforts found no evidence of “indoctrination” teaching in any of the state’s public school systems. Instead, state media outlets have reported, the study revealed nothing more than a Republican-led effort to muzzle discussion of any topics that don’t align with the Republican agenda.
On a positive note, even if House Bill 324 is approved to go to Gov. Cooper, it is likely Cooper will veto it.
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