A Wichita, Kansas, principal was ordered to apologize after showing a video about racism and white privilege to his staff, KMUW reported.
Tim Hamblin of Derby High School showed his staff the video last month, KMUW reported.
The four-minute video showed the Black author and academic Joy DeGruy relating an incident that showed how white privilege can be leveraged positively in solidarity with people of color.
In the video, DeGruy told a story of how she and her sister-in-law, who is white-passing, were treated markedly differently when paying at the grocery store.
While her sister-in-law had paid with a check with no problems, the cashier asked DeGruy for two forms of ID and looked her up in the store’s records before being willing to accept her check, DeGruy said.
DeGruy didn’t want to look like an “angry Black woman” by complaining, but her sister-in-law challenged the cashier, she said.
“She used her white privilege to educate and to make right a situation that was wrong,” said DeGruy. “That’s what you can do. Every single day.”
Hamblin told KMUW that he showed his staff the video because students had been shown it late last year, following an incident in which racially-based comments were made to some students. He wanted to ensure the staff were aware what the students had seen, he told the outlet.
However, a teacher at that meeting complained to the school board that Hamblin had created a hostile working environment and that the video was offensive, KMUW reported.
The board then contacted Hamblin with the demand for an apology, the outlet reported, adding they did not name the teacher, who feared retribution.
“The point was nothing more than to share what some of our kids were dealing with and one thing that they would see to try and help them get through it,” Hamblin said in the emailed apology, seen by KMUW.
“I apologize to anyone that felt the video or its content which reference white privilege made them feel uncomfortable, awkward, harassed, or that it created a hostile work environment.”