Some found the video divisive; many others see it as a learning opportunity for the school community.
Henrico County Public Schools has issued a public apology after students at Glen Allen High School were shown a video that some found offensive and racially divisive. The story reached national media outlets by Wednesday afternoon.
Produced by the African American Policy Forum, the video shown to students is entitled “Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race.”
In reaction to the media coverage and complaints from students and parents, HCPS released a statement, which reads in part:
“The students participated in a presentation that involved American history and racial discourse. A segment of the video was one component of a thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged. As always, we are welcoming of feedback from students and their families, and we address concerns directly as they come forward.”
“In addition, steps are being taken to prevent the use of racially divisive materials in the future. We do apologize to those who were offended and for the unintended impact on our community.”
Many others, however, including local blogger and community activist Marc Cheatham with The Cheats Movement, think the video presents a learning opportunity for the school community. Cheatham’s post reads in part:
We need to educate our youth holistically and accurately about America’s racial history. And if done accurately, the truth is that some white people will feel guilty; as some black people will feel angry. There will be a plethora of emotions – that is guaranteed to happen. But sheltering high schools students or any of our youth from the facts of history is not the answer. We need more dialogue on racial inequality in this country. We need to extend it beyond just Black and White. We need to extend it to include gender, sexual preference, and a host of other factors. We need to really educate everyone; our youth particularly, that the only way improvements are made is by acknowledging our complete history and doing our part to address inequality as best we can. By doing so, we need to accept that there will be many emotions and certainly hard feelings going around.
What do you think? Watch the video in full and let us know your thoughts afterwards in the comments.