Kansas principal told to apologize over white privilege film
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas high school principal who showed a four-minute video about white privilege to his staff was told to apologize after a teacher complained that the video was offensive.
A school board member told Tim Hamblin, principal at Derby High School, to apologize to his staff after he showed the video during an in-service day last month, KMUW reported.
The video featured Black author Joy DeGruy discussing an incident in which she was treated differently at a store because of her race.
The Derby High girls basketball team was shown the same video after race-based comments were made to some team members on social media last year.
A teacher told a Derby school board member that the video was offensive and created a hostile work environment. The board member told Hamblin to apologize.
The name of the teacher and the board member were not released.
In an email to the staff, Hamblin said he showed the video so staff would be aware of issues some students were confronting.
“I apologize to anyone that felt the video or its content which reference white privilege made them feel uncomfortable, awkward, harassed, or that it created a hostile work environment,” he said in the email.
District spokeswoman Katie Carlson said the school board had not issued any directives regarding “videos or teaching materials of this type.”
A conservative majority was elected to the Derby school board in November.
Michael Blankenship, the board president, was one of two parents who sued the Derby district over its mask requirement, which the new board has eliminated.
He said in an email that the board supports the views of all staff and students.
Some Derby High School teachers meanwhile circulated a letter supporting Hamblin, saying he did not suggest that staff were bad people or try to shame anyone.
“On the contrary, he provided an outlet to discuss an issue that is at the forefront of our society right now. Derby has a checkered history handling race issues. … Mr. Hamblin has always done his best to help us recognize that there is a world outside our bubble of white privilege. It is time members of this board do the same,” the letter says.