Williamson County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney attempted to do damage control on Tuesday over the growing rebellion among parents and teachers about his pet project, The Williamson County Cultural Competency Series, which features the controversial left wing “privilege theory” of Dr. Peggy McIntosh and advances the concept of “white privilege.”
As The Tennessee Star reported Thursday, a number of Williamson County School teachers are outraged at being forced to attend , including one who said Looney’s program called white teachers racists and was “super offensive.”
One resident of Williamson County, Frank Wegerson, also took Looney to task on Thursday, telling The Star that he emailed Looney to express his concerns over the “Cultural Competency” videos and the school district’s involvement with the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Wegerson told The Star that superintendent Looney called him right away, “and said he wanted to hit it down the middle, wanted to be straight, not going too far left or right and I thought ‘Well, that’s interesting because he chose the most left organization.’ I didn’t say it to him, but that’s what I was thinking.”
Looney posted a two minute video–in which the comments section has been disabled–on the Williamson County Schools website Tuesday.
You can watch the full video here:
“We’re growing by almost 1,200 students a year and we have some of the best employees in the entire nation focused on making sure our students feel welcome, wanted, and worthwhile,” Looney said:
The reality of it is is that our community is changing. We’re getting families from all across the world. And this year we have been intensely focusing on making sure that our instruction and the relationships that we’re building are attentive to the unique needs and talents that these new families bring.
And that’s why, a little bit over a year ago, we formed the Cultural Competency Committee to make sure that our teaching is sensitive and empathetic to the families that we serve because the words that we say matter.
This is an important topic as we begin to become more diverse in our school community and welcome new families from all across the world. We want to ensure that all of our students are treated with dignity and respect and that we’re sensitive to topics of importance to all of our families.
Unfortunately, our work has led to some misunderstandings and miscommunication. But make no mistake about it, this is critically important work to our long term success and I want to acknowledge that these are tough conversations to have. We’re talking about race, and religion, and economic status and making sure that all of our students, regardless of where they come from, feel welcome and safe in our learning environment. (emphasis added)
“This work will and must continue,” Looney added. (emphasis added.)
In his highly controlled communication, delivered to a video camera and not an audience of parents, teachers, and journalists who were free to ask questions, Looney failed to address the most important problems associated with his “Cultural Competency” Series.
- Why has he embraced the anti-American exceptionalism philosophy of left-wing academic Peggy McIntosh’s “privilege theory,” when it is in direct opposition to Gov. Lee’s State of the State promise to teach Tennessee’s school chidren “unapologetic American exceptionalism?”
- Why has Williamson County Schools failed to provide evidence that the Williamson County Culture Competency Series was included in the system’s in-service training plan for 2018-2019?
- Why has Williamson County Schools failed to provide evidence that the Williamson County Schools In-service training plan for 2018-2019 was submitted to The Tennessee Department of Education before June 1, 2018, as required by law, and was approved by the Commissioner of Education prior to implementation in Williamson County Schools, as required by law?
- Why has Williamson County Schools teamed up with the left wing hate group Southern Poverty Law Center, which is conducting a “Teaching Tolerance” seminar to at least 20 Williamson County Schools teachers in Franklin on May 3 and 4?
The Tennessee Star has posed these questions to Williamson County Schools spokeswoman Carol Birdsong and Superintendent Looney, but we have not received a response.
Wegerson, meanwhile, said he’s unsure if Looney will ultimately change his mind about the “Cultural Competency” videos and the direction he’s taking the school district.
“I wish. I don’t know. He didn’t commit anything like that,” Wegerson said.
“When I hung up with him, I got the feeling, he said to me, approximately 20 teachers or educators out of 600 or so in the Williamson County System had signed up for this May 2 and 3 event. He hoped it would go over well.”