Controversial diversity speaker angers some school employees - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Controversial diversity speaker angers some school employees

Shelby County school teachers reached out to Action News 5 after they went through a diversity session with a speaker that made them uncomfortable and that speaker has a controversial history. Shelby County school teachers reached out to Action News 5 after they went through a diversity session with a speaker that made them uncomfortable and that speaker has a controversial history.

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County school teachers reached out to Action News 5 after they went through a diversity session with a speaker that made them uncomfortable and that speaker has a controversial history.

Some employees of Shelby County Schools participated in race training Friday and the training prompted complaints to the superintendent. And this isn't the first time the instructor has drawn controversy for his teaching style.

Some Shelby County employees have taken to the Internet to voice their concerns about education speaker Glenn Singleton.

Action News 5 received an e-mail whose author said the speaker was "over the top" and said she and other district employees are scared to talk publicly because they are "too scared to say anything for fear they will be fired or released."

Glenn Singleton isn't surprised.

"The fact that people are in conflict over it is nothing to really get excited about because that is expected," he said. ‘We are having a conversation about race and people will experience some level of discomfort as they become more conscious."

But the email's author said it went beyond a race conversation.

She said employees were asked to take a survey. Based on their answers they were given a "whiteness" score which is meant to determine racial privilege.

Though Singleton said he didn't conduct the exercise in Memphis he has conducted it in districts across the country.

Instead, he said he asked the employees a number of questions to help them rank how race impacts their lives. He then told the employees what their rank said about them.

"The last thing I did was I spoke to the different interpretations of the questions based on some racial perspective," said Singleton, who was paid $8,000 for the 7 hours he spoke to 1,500 employees at Title One schools.

The principals voted for the speaker of their choice, and Glenn Singleton was that person.

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