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A Letter to the Editor: North Carolina PTA President’s Statement on Riots at the U.S. Capitol

A Letter to the Editor

We, the people…

Raleigh, NC, (January 15, 2021) — As president of NCPTA, I reach out to our members and our state with sadness for our country, yet with much hope for this experiment of a democracy to grow into its greatness.

It has been 10 months since our nation was first diagnosed with Covid-19, 5 months since the suffocation of George Floyd, 2 months since the election of a new president, and 1 week since the darkest day in American history. Together, we watched as our capital was overrun by other American citizens. America is hurting.

Economic insecurities, racial and social injustices have left us questioning the truth. Every day we trust less and less, wrestling with this experiment of a democracy. We, the people have been struggling since the conception of our democracy. We entered 2021 with great expectations for a new beginning. But beginnings only start with the end of something else. Are we doing this for our children and are we remembering that our children are watching?

We, as a nation and as a community of people, are deciding  the next step for us. What are our values? But also, how will we fight for those ideals? Through words or with civil unrest? If we lead with civil unrest what is next for our children if this is the new normal?

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States and WWII military hero states, “We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.”

Martin Luther King states, “Violence is impractical because it is a descending  spiral ending in destruction for all…Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.

Every great leader, theologian, and brilliant mind are clear that violence creates only destruction. We must remember that our democracy was created so that each citizen has one vote in participating in deciding our laws and our leaders. We have a process for dispute and a place to make change – our judicial and legislative branch. If civil unrest becomes the means for decision making, how large will the bully become each and every time there is a dispute?

“Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment, it is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos”, a quote from George W. Bush at his inauguration. What is left for our children if we choose differently? What is the alternative to our democracy? And what is left for our children?

We have heard many times, it darkest before the dawn. Let this darkness take us to a new beginning of living in a just society where each woman and man is judged on their character, where every woman and man can reach their dream and potential, and our children are loved, are fed and safe.

Harold Dixon,

President, North Carolina Parent Teacher Association


Mari Urness Pokornowski

Executive Director, NCPTA



North Carolina PTA is the state’s oldest and largest volunteer organization advocating for every child to reach their full potential. Founded in 1919 and affiliated with National PTA, there are more than 920 Parent Teacher Associations in schools across the state with more than 106,000 members. PTAs provide advocacy, vital volunteers, and material resources to their schools. NCPTA supports PTA units and provides programs, training, and advocacy on behalf of North Carolina’s children. To learn more about NCPTA, please visit our website at

National PTA Statement on Riots at the U.S. Capitol

National PTA Statement on Riots at the U.S. Capitol

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Jan. 8, 2020)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Leslie Boggs:

“National PTA condemns the storming of our nation’s capital. Like so many Americans, we were outraged by the violence, destruction and attack on our democracy. Wednesday was another hard day for our nation, and one that we should never have experienced.

“Every parent, grandparent, family member, community leader, business leader and educational leader knows it is how we choose to react to situations that makes the difference. Out of every challenge is an opportunity to do things better, think differently and embrace resources we never utilized before.

“National PTA is choosing to react with hope. We are choosing to honor our association’s values of collaboration, commitment, diversity, respect and accountability. We are choosing to continue to believe in the supreme importance of our children and in our mission to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.

“This is an important time for all of us to sit down together with our children and talk with them about how democracy and government works in our country, the importance of practicing civility, and the importance of using our powerful voices for good.

“National PTA offers tips to help families and educators have conversations with their children about incidents such as the riots at the U.S. Capitol and ways to use such situations to reinforce family and community values and beliefs. The tips can be accessed at

“PTA has a rich legacy in coming together to help solve the toughest problems facing our children, families and communities. It is imperative that we choose to be united and supportive during this difficult time in our country. As PTA members, we must continue to help lead the way with our powerful, collective voice to protect the voice of our future—our children. Together, we can move above and beyond the division of our country and build a shared experience—the experience of working together as human beings, intent on building a better nation and world.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit

Congratulations NCPTA Healthy School Grant Winners

The School Meal Challenge mini grants have been awarded to the following PTAs to be used for school nutrition engagement and building awareness/support for school nutrition programs at their local school. We look forward to sharing the results from these projects with all of you over the next few months. Congratulations!

  • Club Blvd Magnet Elementary PTA, Durham
  • Holly Ridge Elementary School PTA, Holly Springs
  • Lincoln Heights Magnet Elementary PTA, Fuquay-Varina
  • Mabel Elementary School PTA, Zionville
  • Old Richmond Elementary PTA, Tobaccoville
  • Rashkis Elementary School PTA, Chapel Hill
  • The School for Creative Studies PTSA, Durham

In Case You Missed It! The NCPTA Gates team November Virtual Town Hall Now Available!

Here’s a look back at the NCPTA Gates team Virtual Town Hall that was facilitated on November 10th in collaboration with BEST NC and the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University. We discussed ways that families and community leaders can leverage school-level per pupil expenditure (PPE) and other school report data on to advocate for school improvement and student success. We hope you enjoy the recording! Click here to watch.

The NCPTA Reflections Submission Site is Open!

Now is the time to start submitting Reflections entries! Click here to access the Reflections program page and get all the info necessary to successfully submit entries.

The deadline is Wednesday, January 6, 2021!

2020/21 Honor Roll Announced!

2020-21 Honor Roll Recipients

We are delighted to acknowledge PTA units who sent in dues by November 15th and had total members equal to or greater than last year! Click here for the Honor Roll list.

Learn more about our other Membership Record Awards.

Giving Tuesday 2020

GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity that will take place on December 1, 2020.

How will you give back?

People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during GivingTuesday⁠⁠ whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts. NCPTA has 3 ways for you to give back this year.

Governor Cooper Kicks Off 4th Annual Governor’s School Supply Drive with New Partner NCPTA

Help provide necessary school supplies to support North Carolina public school students and teachers. Donations through NCPTA will purchase supplies to support Public School Students, Teachers and Families Across North Carolina

Governor Cooper’s School Supply Drive will run from Monday, November 16 to Wednesday, December 16th, 2020.

Donate now!

National Family Engagement Month

It’s November and November is National Family Engagement Month. What is your school and PTA doing to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of parents and caregivers? Paw Creek Elementary in Charlotte is hosting a Family Engagement Mini Virtual Conference on Monday, November 23 at 6 p.m. They will discuss Remote learning hacks, childcare options, financial literacy, self-care and more!

Exciting things are happening and NCPTA wants hear so we can share! Please send in videos and pictures of events occurring in your schools.


Congratulations to Blue Key Winners!

Membership dues are critical for us to continue the advocacy work that we do on behalf of all children in North Carolina, and we thank the many PTAs who submitted their dues by the October 15th deadline. The 2020-2021 Blue Key PTAs are listed here. Congratulations!