A Kansas principal was reportedly forced to apologize by the local school board for simply showing a video about white privilege to faculty members.
In January, Principal Tim Hamblin shared with Derby High School staff a video from Dr. Joy DeGruy, a Black author who detailed her experiences with racism and white privilege, KMUW Wichita reported. The girls basketball team had watched the video after a racist incident in 2021, and Hamblin wanted teachers to know more about what their students had watched, according to the report.
But after a complaint about the video, the principal was forced to apologize—not to the students on the basketball team, but to staff members.
In the short video, DeGruy talked about going to the grocery store with her sister-in-law, who has a Black and a white parent and presents as a white person, as she has blue eyes and a very fair complexion.
During the store run, the cashier checked out the sister-in-law with no issue when she paid with a check. DeGruy, on the other hand, said she had to present multiple forms of identification when paying with a check. The cashier also double-checked to make sure that she was not on a list of people from whom not to accept checks. The situation escalated to the point where the manager had to get involved, and DeGruy’s sister-in-law called out the cashier for discrimination.
After watching the video, a teacher complained to the Derby school board, KMUW reported. Hamblin was then told by the board to apologize.
“I apologize to anyone that felt the video or its content which reference[d] white privilege made them feel uncomfortable, awkward, harassed, or that it created a hostile work environment,” he said in a statement, according to KMUW.
The principal’s apology comes as the country grapples with critical race theory and whether it should be taught in public schools. Though the academic theory was established by legal scholars and predominantly used in higher education, conservatives have incorrectly decried the concept as one that teaches some young students to feel inferior and others to feel guilty for being white.
Hamblin became principal of Derby High in 2011 after serving as the school’s assistant principal since 2005 and as a teacher since 1996, The Derby Informer reported. He was honored as the Derby district’s principal of the year in 2015.
Hamblin, the Derby Public School Board of Education president, and the district’s superintendent did not immediately responded to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
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