Hamilton County Schools (TN) calls concerns about ‘white privilege’ slides a ‘misrepresentation’

Meghan Mangrum:

Some community members are calling a training session that included conversations about racism, white privilege and equity attended by Hamilton County teachers Friday inappropriate.

Dozens of teachers in Hamilton County’s Opportunity Zone, which consists of the district’s 12 highest-needs, lowest-performing schools, were gathered for the third annual Urban Education Institute on Friday as they prepared to welcome their students back to school next week.

Former NFL player Robert Jackson served as the guest speaker for the event.

Jackson also presented at the district’s second Urban Education Institute held in January, where teachers learned about how trauma at home could affect students’ performance in the classroom.

On Friday, Jackson led the teachers through what the district said was a presentation about “how adverse childhood experiences can impact behavior in the classroom and methods to have effective classroom management.”

Some of the slides included in Jackson’s presentation provided as examples of white privilege that white people are less likely to be followed, interrogated or searched by law enforcement; their skin tone will not affect their credit or financial responsibility; when accused of a crime, white people are portrayed as good people; and they don’t lose opportunities when mistakes are made.