Tennessee Attorneys Attend Politically-Oriented Training Sessions on Race


Attorneys in Tennessee’s child welfare system chose to attend a series of politically-oriented trainings earlier this year that discussed, among other things, implicit bias, structural racism, and microaggressions.

The training series asked these attorneys a series of multiple choice sessions.

One session, available for members of the public to view on TNCourts.gov, asked “Why is it problematic to be colorblind?” Possible answers included (A) It denies the lived experience of a person of color. (B) It helps people of color have better job opportunities (C) It doesn’t support anti-racism or (D) Both A& C.

Another question asked whether it was true or false that “systemic racism speaks to the racial inequities in housing, employment, education, criminal justice, healthcare, leisure activities and other institutions.”

The Tennessee Star asked the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) staff whether this training series is politically-driven or constitutes leftist indoctrination.

AOC spokeswoman Barbara Peck said in an email that the training took place this past summer.

“It was optional; it was intended as an option for attorneys in the child welfare arena seeking Continuing Legal Education credits,” Peck said.

Peck said no other sessions on that topic are planned.

Another session asked whether “dog whistle politics” involves people using a dog whistle “to get others to hear their point of view” or if it involves racially-coded language that politicians use to evoke an emotional response.

Vanderbilt clinical psychologist Jon Ebert and Belmont University associate education professor Mona Ivey-Soto presented the trainings, according to TNCourts.gov

As The Star reported in September, Soto spoke to students at Brentwood High School that month after Principal Kevin Keidel invited her.

A Brentwood High parent who said he disapproved of Soto’s lecture provided The Star with an audio recording.

Before Soto spoke, Keidel delivered a lecture of his own. According to the audio, he said Brentwood High alumni, who now attend Harvard and Princeton universities, complained to him that school administrators didn’t do enough to make them better people.

“We took that to heart this summer. It doesn’t do us any good if you’re smart but you’re a bad person,” Keidel said in the recording.

“That is not what we want from you. We want you to be better people. We want you to be able to treat your classmates well. We want you to be able to treat your friends well.”

Keidel provided no specific examples of how past and present Brentwood High students were bad people.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]






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5 Thoughts to “Tennessee Attorneys Attend Politically-Oriented Training Sessions on Race”

  1. Cancel Cultured

    Check out their power points that go with the lectures at the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Court website. Celebrating Columbus Day and MAGA are signs of white supremacy.

  2. 83ragtop50

    I hope that they feel better about themselves. I certainly do not.

  3. Vanderbilt clinical psychologist Jon Ebert and Belmont University associate education professor Mona Ivey-Soto should be removed from their positions, STAT. I would also include BHS Principal, Kevin Keidel, questioning his ability to lead, and influence our youth.

    While societal questions legitimately exist, it is people like this that are poisoning our country. I doubt any of them have the qualifications to do what they are doing. Even “experts” out there in the world today, really are. Even parents with half a brain should be joining forces to stop all the BS going on in our schools.

    Today’s brainwashed kids become tomorrow’s…………………….

  4. Beatrice Shaw

    Much about nothing

  5. rick

    God save us all from this overeducated arrogant group of people. People like this are useless, what a waste. Common sense is something that is beyond this entire group!