Apparently the Metro Nashville Public Schools don’t feel they have to be truthful with the taxpaying citizens. An open records request was sent to them asking specifically how Diversity in Dialogue training came about, what type of handouts or papers in general were given to the attendees or the school regarding this training, and who presented this training . The answers were vague, stating there are no records, copies of content or information regarding the presenters ( ” information regarding credentials should be requested from Scarritt Bennett”)
Unfortunately for them, sources that worked for the school district have come forward with what actually occurred.
According to the Alignment Nashville Middle School plan, teachers from several Metro Nashville public middle schools were told they would participate in a series of sessions with a group called Diversity in Dialogue from the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville. A series of sessions was led by an African American woman who introduced herself as Beverly Goetzman from the Scarritt Bennett center and a muslim woman named Suha Alsyoufi also from the center. Teachers were required to sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure no content of the sessions were disclosed outside the sessions
Sources say they were made to role play, with muslims being over represented since the groups were small. Throughout the several week program held during teacher planning periods, the teachers were prompted to honestly disclose their feelings about muslims and black people.
During the last session Beverly Goetzman disclosed to the teachers that she was not a representative from Scarritt Bennett but rather works for Metro Nashville Public Schools at the Central Office, as a “family involvement specialist”. Sources say that they felt deceived and lied to at best.
The following questions need to be addressed
Given the assault on Christianity in public schools why are muslims the only religious group to be included in the training?
Being that these trainings are occurring in taxpayer funded public schools, how is accountability being presented when there is no documentation available to the public?
Given Mrs. Goetzmen original misrepresentation about her affiliation with the Scarritt Bennitt center how credible is the training itself?
On an interesting note, this passage is from the minutes of the Alignment Nashville Meeting Minutes 03/13/2012:
1. Social and Emotional Learning – Committee Discussion – How can this team support social-emotional growth and educating the community on adolescent growth – Amy and Glen
As part of a school climate survey at BrickChurch last year, Kyle learned a large percentage of the students and adults did not feel emotional safe in the school environment. Part of the SEL issue is that people (staff, parents, students) do not trust each other or the system.How do we develop trust? How do agencies become better equipped to enter a school and feel helpful?
Ironic isnt it? The issue of trust is at the forefront of this discussion, yet their own administrators dont even tell teachers the truth.