About five parents in Williamson County have asked members of that county’s school board to create a committee to stamp out what they said was chronic racism within the school district.
These parents requested this at the school board’s regular meeting this week.
One parent, Kate Keese of Brentwood, asked board members to create what she called a parent advisory committee for diversification and inclusion — and promptly.
“Racism is so steeped in our culture that many of us are blind to its presence or effects. We cannot address what we do not acknowledge. We must see it to heal it. Racism is not just about using derogatory language. It is about failing to see the humanity of a people,” Keese told school board members.
“The wounds of racism do not belong only to people of color. All of us are wounded by denying the humanity of any. We cannot ignore the existence of racism. We cannot consider ourselves to have educated our children if we have not begun to speak this truth with them.”
Members of the public may view the meeting on Livestream.com
WCS Superintendent Jason Golden told parents and school board members that he has discussed these issues with teachers and students.
“If we grow how we serve our diverse student body [then] we really need professional help,” Golden said.
“We need a comprehensive plan if we are going to create a sustainable change.”
Golden also said the school system may have time for the type of committee that these five parents want.
Another parent, Tizgel High of Brentwood, referred to a reported incident at Sunset Middle School in Brentwood in 2019. A teacher told her students to role play as slaves and slave owners. The Tennessee Star described the incident that year. High said that incident “should have prompted the district leadership to move to action.”
“My children will not attend school tomorrow because I am concerned that hate speech, racial slurs and other violent acts may be used against them in an environment where teachers and staff are ill equipped to quickly and decisively stop and implement appropriate and corrective action,” High said.
As reported two years ago, WCS officials required teachers to watch a series of videos showing county school employees advocating for social change and social justice. The “White privilege” training videos, as part of a Cultural Competency video series, showcased local teachers buying into the idea of “White privilege.”
As reported, school board members said at the time that news of this curriculum caught them off guard. The Star talked to various parents that year who said they feared speaking out against the “White privilege” training, due to a possible backlash against them either personally or professionally.
– – –