June 22, 2024

Board of Education rejects cultural competency resolution

The Knox County Board of Education un-unanimously rejected the Cultural Competency Training (CCT), a cultural competency resolution, on Wednesday.

[title_box title=”Board of Education rejects cultural competency resolution”]

The Knox County Board of Education met on Wednesday to discuss several issues still plaguing the school system. The most notable topic was the failure of the Cultural Competency Training (CCT), a cultural competency resolution.

The resolution includes forcing school employees to go through a training system in order to “have a better understanding of how students act around school,” said school board student representative Sydney Gabrielson.

Betsy Hobkirk, an elementary art teacher at West Hills Elementary School, expressed her passion for teaching and brought up some changes that could possibly lay the foundation for CCT, such as smaller classroom sizes and more adults in the school.

Other teachers voiced their opinions on their displeasure with the lack of disciplinary options for students. Many teachers do not want to send their students to the PAC room, similar to an in school suspension, because they would rather work through problems with a hands on approach.

Hobkirk believes that students are now becoming discouraged to show emotion.

“Students struggle in all aspects of life,” she said. “Instead of punishing children for not doing work, find out what’s going on in their life.”

Knoxville resident and resolution supporter Steve Rodgers announced that they have requested training for all surrounding schools, not just certain districts.

Board of Education members were split on opinions towards this resolution. One of the board members’ biggest concerns is the lack of acknowledgment behind the program. Gloria Deathridge, a spectator of the meeting, said that the resolution has “been watered down to basically nothing.”

Board chair member Doug Harris said that the resolution is a “good faith effort (…) but we’re jumping ahead on this.”

Some board members believed that this was too pre-mature and there was not enough detail for a contract of this magnitude to be signed, while others were adamant about bringing this to fruition and working out the kinks when they came along. In the end, the resolution plan failed, with only two “yes” votes; six “no” votes; and one extension vote.

Kyle Furman also contributed to this story

Edited by Hannah Hunnicutt