Mountain Brook School Board addresses concerns over diversity training

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — The Mountain Brook School Board addressed parents’ concerns over the recent controversy on diversity training at the schools. The debate has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks.

The school board told parents they want to remain politically neutral when it comes to its diversity training. Parents on both sides say they want the same thing for all kids, but one parent during the public comment stated the divisiveness over everything is impacting their children.

“I’ve never seen our community like this,” Parent Diana Brownings said.

Brownings told the crowd and board members children are seeing how parents are reacting to the situation, which she believes has gone outside the community.

“And we as adults have acted the exact opposite of how we want our children to act,” Brownings said.

The school board stated they are no longer using the services of the Anti-Defamation League after controversy with some parents. They told parents Monday night they understand both sides of the issue.

“We will not tolerate an environment where any of our students are inhibited from an effective, challenging, and engaging experience,” VP Jeffrey Brewer said.

“Know that you’ve been heard and your comments have been thoughtfully considered, and in some cases, acted upon,” board member Jenifer Kimbrough said.

During public comments, some parents believe diversity training still lacks in the school system.

“But we are not doing our kids any favors by trying to change reality out of our own fears and anxieties,” Child Psychiatrist Laura Steele said.

But other parents say they didn’t agree with the Diversity Committee’s approach and wished they were more in the conversations.

“We are not against training. We are against training from organizations with political affiliations,” parent Shannon Jernigan said.

But Christy Christina with the committee says they never implemented any political bias in their training.

“So regardless of what the ADL might have stood for, we love doing things where we can customize what’s best for our students,” Christian said.

But all parents and board members at Monday’s meeting would say they all want the same thing; a safe and welcoming environment for all students.

“Let’s stop the social media blast and boycotts and that stuff. And let’s get together and have a plan,” parent Tyler Thrasher said.

School leaders say they emailed parents a statement on the matter on July 8. They also sent out an FAQ about questions regarding the diversity training going forward. Mountain Brook Schools says they will not teach critical race theory in the classroom and have not adopted any literature in response to any diversity initiatives.

If any parent would like to join the committee, you can email MBSDiversity@mtnbrook.k12.al.us for more information.

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