The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on Williamson County Schools to develop an anti-racist curriculum following a racist incident that recently happened at Ravenwood High School.
“Hateful incidents like the one that occurred at Ravenwood should be used as opportunities for education,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison in a statement. “We urge Williamson County Schools to offer anti-racist curriculum to students and staff, and send a clear message that bigotry isn’t welcome on campus.”
As previously reported, the N-word was typed in on the computer of a Black student at Ravenwood, which sparked protests and calls for a revision in Ravenwood's policy, particularly when some students felt the initial punishment for the offending student was not harsh enough.
The victim of the racist incident, Jadon Moore, addressed the WCS school board shortly after the protests and said he hoped the moment would spark change within the county and beyond.
“We’re hopeful to make this incident a difference and better for the future to come,” Moore told the board earlier this month. “I want to make this clear that we are not attacking Ravenwood High School or the student who committed this act. We are coming together, and we are attacking racism as a whole.”
WCS superintendent Jason Golden responded that night to the efforts the district has been taking
“Some of what was discussed [in public comments] also reminded me of the goals that we set as board members, and as a district related to my work as superintendent,” Golden said at that meeting.
“I want to remind us that the first three items that the Fostering Healthy Solutions report addressed [were] the policy handbook with recommendations to create templates so that there is consistency district-wide related to our standards for teachers and students...[we must consider] disciplinary action, reviewing our disciplinary actions at the administrative level to ensure consistency district-wide in communication."
Golden highlighted above WCS' recent work with Fostering Healthy Solutions, an organization that is helping the school district address racism and other forms of bullying after an increase in complaints surfacing from students.
The use of "critical race theory" in classrooms, a practice that in part features anti-racist ideas, has sparked a culture war nationwide. Local conservative activist groups like Moms for Liberty and Williamson Families have pushed against the implementation of its ideas in area classrooms.
WCS' "Wit and Wisdom" curriculum has come under fire by those groups for that very reason, though the district maintains it does not contain any elements of CRT in its lesson plans. Moms for Liberty saw a complaint about CRT being in WCS denied last year by the Tennessee Department of Education.
CAIR said it stands in solidarity with all those challenging antisemitism, anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and white supremacy in the statement, and reinforced that its mission is to "protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice and empower American Muslims."