Presentation on race, grades causes Germantown controversy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Presentation on race, grades causes Germantown controversy

Some Germantown parents are upset after a principal made a controversial presentation about grades that some students say was all about race. Some Germantown parents are upset after a principal made a controversial presentation about grades that some students say was all about race.

(WMC-TV) – Some Germantown parents are upset after a principal made a controversial presentation about grades that some students say was all about race.

The principal at Germantown High School said he called an assembly to talk about how the school can close the gap between state test scores. But instead of closing a gap, some parents say he caused more division and now the principal has apologized.

Germantown's principal Dr. Ted Horrell said in no way did he mean to draw a line between black and white students during an assembly he called last week regarding state test scores

"The point of the assembly was to introduce a new initiative called the advisory period which will allow students who are struggling academically to receive extra help," he said.

Horrell said in his presentation he displayed the statistics from the Tennessee Report Card which showed black students scored lower than whites.

"My reasoning for sharing the data is to say we're not comfortable with these gaps," he said. "We can do better."

Several parents were outraged including one who emailed Action News 5 after he said his daughter was taunted about the scores

"It bothers me as a parent when this sort of thing is spoken out among kids...there were near riot moments between the kids at the school today due to ‘white' kids mocking ‘black' kids about being dumb," the email said in part.

Horrell said he would not have presented the data if he knew some students would take the opportunity to belittle others

"We could have easily presented the new program without presenting the state report card," he said.

Shawn Driver, a senior at Germantown, said he wasn't upset by the presentation.

"He's a great principal," Driver said. "I know many people got offended by it, but my inner crowd didn't."

In hindsight, Horrell said he made a mistake and it was never his intention to cause such division.

"That was not the intent and I apologize to any student who took the information the wrong way," he said.

Tuesday afternoon, students went home with a letter from Horrell apologizing again for the confusion of his presentation. He said he wants all parents and students to know that his goal is to increase achievement at Germantown High School.

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