Schools respond to “White Privilege” presentation

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Screen shots of a presentation to Hamilton County teachers are stirring a strong debate Friday on social media.

They come from guest speaker Robert Jackson to Opportunity teachers.

But some of those teachers were shocked at the white privilege statements and posted them on Facebook and other social media.

And many more people chimed in with their comments.

We saw posted opinions like “Oh my. Left wing indoctrination.”

And “this will perpetuate even more hate and racial divide. I am done with the victimology.”

By this afternoon, the school system posted their response to the blowback.

They say people are taking the images out of context.

They say Jackson’s presentation wasn’t berating teachers about white privilege.

Instead, he was telling them reasons why some students under achieve.

Here is the statement from Hamilton County schools.

Hamilton County Schools regrets that there have been misinterpretations of a presentation today to Opportunity Zone Learning Community teachers. The presentation was actually about how adverse childhood experiences can impact behavior in the classroom and methods to have effective classroom management.

Slides from a presentation by guest speaker Robert Jackson, a former NFL player and teacher, given today to teachers at the annual Urban Education Institute have been taken out of context and misrepresented in Facebook posts. The slides are being misrepresented as a presentation on white privilege. For the slides in question, the speaker was reviewing terms that can impact perception and definitions attached to the terms when the slides were used. White Privilege was one of several terms on slides during the short part of the presentation.

The district will put additional safeguards in place for external presenters to ensure there is less potential of misinterpretation of the content shared in the future.

The statement also includes teacher statements praising the presentation, including “I am a huge fan of Robert Jackson, he makes everything relevant and makes it easy for everyone to discuss the tough conversations about what students bring to the classroom as well as our own weaknesses and biases we bring into the classroom.”

Several comments on the Hamilton County Schools Facebook account are challenging them to post the full presentation so people can judge for themselves.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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