Members of the Williamson County Board of Education are voting Monday night whether to extend the contract of Williamson County Schools Superintendent Jason Golden, a process that’s typically a formality but comes with a bit of friction this year.
Days after the nonprofit parent organization One WillCo joined with other community and advocacy groups to release a statement voicing support for Golden’s contract extension and a vote of confidence for the district leader, the relatively new parents group Moms for Liberty Williamson County countered with a list of reasons his contract shouldn’t be extended.
"Moms for Liberty is not in support of Jason Golden's contract to be extended for a number of reasons," said Robin Steenman, Williamson County chair for the national nonprofit.
She sent a list of those reasons to the Home Page Sunday, citing matters such as his performance review scores from last year, a “trust issue between Mr. Golden and the community he serves,” and the fact that he “has been caught in no less than three lies.” Golden, for example, has insisted that critical race theory is not being used in the district’s Wit and Wisdom curriculum, but Steenman points out that “[Moms for Liberty] has proven that tenets of CRT do exist in the Great Minds Wit & Wisdom curriculum in Grade 2, Module 3.”
Steenman said that MFL also has an issue with Fostering Healthy Solutions, a Nashville consulting firm that WCS hired earlier this year to help the district navigate issues of racism, equity and diversity. The firm and Golden have both said repeatedly that the process of working with the district does not include writing new curriculum or adhering to CRT methods.
However, Steenman said through the list of reasons that since FHS’s “mission is ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ within Williamson County Schools,” that it’s “well documented that these words are another descriptor of CRT.”
Golden signed a four-year contract two years ago when he was approved by the board to replace Mike Looney as district superintendent. As they did this time last year, school board members will review Golden’s contract and then vote whether or not to extend it one year.
“We have been seeing in our community efforts to pressure the school board to not reinstate Superintendent Golden,” Jennifer Cortez, a parent of WCS students and a co-founder of One WillCo, said. “So we want to be really clear that our organizations thinks he’s doing an amazing job and we stand with him.”
Groups joining One WillCo in supporting the contract extensive are The Public, Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition, Williamson Social Justice Alliance, Together Nolensville, and Be the Bridge.
Both Cortez and Steenman, as well as others from their respective groups, will be showing up at Monday’s meeting and likely speaking during the public comment segment. Steenman told the Home Page several parents from Moms for Liberty will arrive early to voice their insistence that Golden’s contract not be extended.
“We’re there to be heard and to be present,” she said. “I know a lot of people want to paint us as right wing extremists of sort, but the fact is, we’re just parents expressing our concerns.
“We really believe we’re fighting four our kids, that we’re not fighting for Moms for Liberty. We are deeply concerned about what’s good for the kids.”
The meeting gets underway at 6:30 in the auditorium of the Williamson County Administrative Complex. It will also be aired on WCTV YouTube channel.