Editor’s note: This story is part of a series on Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Board of Education candidates. The Daily Tar Heel is not endorsing any CHCCS school board candidates.
Barbara Fedders is one of 14 candidates running for a seat on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.
Fedders, who has lived in Carrboro since 2008, is an associate professor at the UNC School of Law. At the law school, she directs the Youth Justice Clinic, which works primarily with children and adolescents facing legal trouble.
Fedders said she has learned a lot from her work in the Youth Justice Clinic about the children who often find themselves in unfortunate situations with the law.
“I have seen, in that work, a couple of things,” she said. “One is that the thing that unites kids who are getting in trouble is that they are having a hard time in school. The reason for that hard time can vary.”
Fedders said many of the things she has learned and experienced through her position at the Youth Justice Clinic made her think about policymaking in a school setting.
“I've always felt like when the chance arose that I wanted to be able to use my skill set in a different way — in a policymaking way in particular — around school issues. And so this is the perfect opportunity,” she said.
Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham), who endorsed Fedders, said that during her time as a district court judge in Durham, she met Fedders through her work at the Youth Justice Clinic and was extremely impressed.
“I was the district court judge and was very impressed by how she taught her students: how they prepared cases, their compassion for kids and their knowledge about the educational rights of their clients,” Morey said. “Over the years, watching her in court, I just really respected her excellent advocacy for kids and their educational needs.”