A Williamson County Schools teacher who was forced to sit through the Williamson County Schools Competency Training Series video on “white privilege” contacted The Tennessee Star on Wednesday and delivered a searing critique of the in-service training created and mandated by Williamson County Schools superintendent Mike Looney.
“Please investigate this as I am a Williamson County school teacher and had to sit through the ‘White Privilege’ training. It was a joke. They basically are telling white teachers that we are racist. It is super offensive,” the teacher, who requested anonymity, told The Star.
“We can’t speak up for fear of losing our jobs,” the teacher added.
“You have the power to investigate and hold the leaders of Williamson County accountable,” the teacher told The Star.
“Teachers can’t, we need our jobs but are being forced to endure such offensive assumptions. I judge/see all students’ character. This is what speaks to any teacher. The idea that because a person is white, they are privileged, is ludicrous and offensive,” the teacher continued.
“I am attaching a copy of papers we were given during the training,” the teacher continued.
You can see those papers below:scan (1)
As The Tennessee Star reported this month, as part of this In-Service teacher training, one 26-minute video, the third in the cultural competency series, profiles several people whom the narrator described as “Williamson County Voices.”
The video does not identify anyone, nor does it make clear if these people are school system employees or county residents not formally affiliated with the school system. One man, though, identified himself as a school administrator.
In the video, they and the narrator discuss social justice causes, the perks white males supposedly have that others do not, America’s supposed dysfunctional history, and how unfair it all is. At the beginning, an unidentified female narrator encourages teachers to “recognize the construct of privilege and its implications.”
A few minutes in, a female appears and seems to go on a guilt trip about her supposed white privilege. She spoke of receiving things others have not and how she has a responsibility to share her privilege with other people.
Also, as The Star reported, Williamson County officials had the ultimate power to approve an In-service “white privilege” training curriculum for their teachers last month, said Chandler Hooper, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Education.
But that’s inconsistent with the TDOE’s standards and practices on In-service teacher training, as specified on that department’s website.
As reported, The Williamson County School System is serious about prioritizing its In-Service teacher training, so much so administrators spent 22 percent more on it for this 2018-19 school year versus the prior one.
According to the school system’s budget, administrators spent $689,989 on their In-Service/Staff Development training this school year. For the 2017-18 school year, administrators budgeted $564,508.
Williamson County Schools, as reported, will send teachers to a series of workshops in Franklin this coming May that is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, according to a source.
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