Williamson County School Superintendent Jason Golden this week cancelled a previously scheduled speaking engagement with the Williamson County Republican Party, and members of his staff did not return messages seeking comment as to why.
Several sources informed The Tennessee Star that Golden would have a question and answer session with members of the Williamson County GOP Wednesday evening. Those same sources said they and several other people intended to ask Golden about the Williamson County School Board hiring, as reported in February, a consulting firm to stamp out what they call a pattern of racism within the school district. The name of that firm is Fostering Healthy Solutions.
Gary Humble, spokesman for the Williamson County-based Tennessee Stands posted a YouTube video Tuesday saying he disagreed with the premise of the GOP meeting.
“You just don’t deal with the enemy. And I think Jason Golden is an enemy to this county. I think his policies are evil and godless. I think what has been done to students and families in this county is evil and godless. Regardless of whoever else was doing it, it should not have been done in Williamson County. Students have been damaged. Their learning has been damaged. They’re continually being emotionally abused by this non-stop masking nonsense. Quarantining and everything in between, parents have been raising their voices over for well over a year now and now leading into Critical Race Theory entering our schools,” Humble said.
“And while there is a statement being made that CRT is not coming to Williamson County — well — diversity and equity and inclusion training is coming to Williamson County. No one said that that’s not coming to Williamson County. We still hired this consulting group to do diversity, equity and inclusion training. Well, guess what diversity, equity, and inclusion training are? Critical race theory.”
Tennessee Stands, according to its website, calls on state and local officials “to restore our constitutional republic.”
Humble said that parents unhappy with Golden attend school board meetings regularly but “nothing changes.”
Humble said that school board members could fire Golden but he also said “they don’t have the gall to do it.” He also said that Williamson County needs new people to replace the current school board members.
None of the 12 Williamson County School Board members returned The Tennessee Star’s emailed requests for comment before Tuesday’s stated deadline.
Humble posted a screenshot of an email that he said Golden spokeswoman Carol Birdsong sent to the Williamson County GOP. In it, Birdsong said “several conflicting social media posts about the nature of this [GOP] meeting have continued through this past weekend, and his [Golden’s] coming to speak will likely be counterproductive” to Golden’s intent to share information and answer questions.
Humble said that Birdsong’s message demonstrated an important point.
“This email should tell you everything you need to know about Jason Golden and why he does not belong in a leadership position in the school system,” Humble said.
“If the man had any integrity and character whatsoever, and his mission actually was about the students and he wanted to hear from parents and actually wanted to address concerns, then guess what he would do? He would show up. Even though people had hard questions.”
Fostering Healthy Solutions co-founder Anita Foster previously told The Star that, as a business practice, she does not discuss clients.
As reported, parents told board members in February that they researched WCS disciplinary records and, going by that, racism was not as rampant as suggested. Those parents also said this move falls well beyond a school system’s primary function and might indoctrinate students politically.
School board members are paying Fostering Healthy Solutions $55,000 for a contract that ends in July. School board members have the option to renew the contract afterwards for the 2021-222 school year, according to the document.
On their Facebook page, Fostering Healthy Solutions staff members recently congratulated U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for winning last year’s presidential election.
As The Star reported last month, Golden said the school district needed “a comprehensive plan” to address racism.
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.”
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.
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