North Carolina GOP Nominee To Lead Public Schools Was At Jan. 6, Called Islam ‘Evil’

A conspiracy theorist who was outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, became the Republican nominee for North Carolina’s top school official on Tuesday.

Michele Morrow, who has long espoused anti-LGBTQ, anti-science and Islamophobic views, defeated incumbent Catherine Truitt in the Republican primary for superintendent of public instruction. Morrow would oversee the state’s entire public school system if she wins the general election in November.

Morrow has never held office and has home-schooled her children, according to her campaign website.

Her campaign was dominated by messaging about the supposed “indoctrination” of public school students.

In a campaign video, she lamented that North Carolina preschoolers were being taught that “men can get pregnant,” and claimed lessons about racial equity would make students “hate our country,” and “feel shame for the color of their skin.”

“You better believe our teachers will be well-versed in the true history of our great nation,” she said in the video.

She also said she would invest in video surveillance and police officers in schools, in what she described as an effort to curtail on-campus violence and fights. “We must bring order and civility back to every classroom,” she said.

Morrow defeated Truitt, who among other things was former Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) senior education adviser, by a four-point margin. In November she will face off against formerGuilford County Superintendent Mo Green, who won the Democratic primary with 66% of the vote, The News & Observer reported.

Truitt was the only member of the Council of State, equivalent to a state Cabinet, who lost their primary, The News & Observer noted.

Morrow’s campaign rhetoric — which echoes that of many conservatives on school boards and “parental rights” activists across the country — was in line with the arguments she’d been making for years, including during an unsuccessful bid for a county school board seat in 2022.

Morrow’s personal Twitter account has repeatedly posted misinformation. She referred to the COVID-19 vaccine as “population control,” local outlet WRAL reported in 2022, and falsely said there was “proof to overturn the election results” in several states after the 2020 presidential election.

“I do support death to vaccine mongers like Bill and Melinda Gates,” Morrow tweeted in late 2020. (“What does that have to do with the school board?” she told WRAL two years later.)

Morrow has also called Islam “evil” several times, WRAL reported, though she later apologized for the comments in an interview with the outlet.

“I NEVER claimed every Muslim is a terrorist,” she wrote on Twitter (now called X) in 2020. “My point is that the goal of Islam is world domination. Their path to the highest heaven is killing infidels, while you commit suicide. The GOAL of the religion is evil. The GOAL of Chrisitanity is not. #TheTruthIsOfrensive.”

She also at one point said the country should “ban Islam” and “ban Muslims from elected offices,” according to The News & Observer. Morrow later told the paper: “I should have said anyone who defends radical Islamic terrorists should not be in office in the United States.”

Morrow was part of a small group of people who filed a police reports against the Wake County school board in 2021 over sexual content in books, WRAL reported. Prosecutors didn’t pursue charges.

Morrow was also on Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, but said she did not enter the building or participate in the riot, and she has publicly spoken out against some of the events that took place that day.

She was close enough to the Capitol building to criticize a man and woman who she claimed to have seen banging on a window, telling them, “You’re making a bad name for everyone here,’” she later recalled to The News & Observer.

Her comments that day echoed some of the insurrectionists’ rhetoric, however. “If you’re going to commit treason, if you’re going to participate in fraud in a United States election, we’re coming after you,” Morrow said while walking through the streets of D.C. on Jan. 6, according to a video surfaced by opponents of her 2022 school board race. “This is all about celebrating the fact that we are a free people, and in order to maintain our freedom, we need to fight back, we need to fight with prayer.”

“I actually brought my oldest kids because it was a day that I wanted them to see how to be active in civics, but I will tell you, there was no expectation that anything was going to be violent,” she told WRAL.