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Inclusion experts weigh in on latest racist incidents at metro schools

Dr. Nicole D Price
Posted at 9:32 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 23:31:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children and schools grapple with racist incidents this year, from a racist sign and petition last week, to multiple teachers accused of using racial slurs this year.

A diversity, equity and inclusion coach KSHB 41 News spoke with believes, besides staff and students taking part in that education, parents and families, especially those in suburban school districts, would also benefit from diversity and inclusion lessons.

"We want to move past it and until we reconcile, make amends, acknowledge what has happened, these things are going to continue to pop up," Dr. Nicole Price, CEO of Lively Paradox, said.

Price helps people get along and with welcoming diversity.

"After George Floyd, it appeared that many people were realizing and recognizing the need to talk about race, racial justice, racial equity, but it only took about two weeks for us to lull ourselves back into this idea of a post-racial America," Price said

Although she's disappointed by the latest instances of racism at the Park Hill and Olathe School districts, she isn't surprised

"What I want parents to do is stop dismissing race and assuming that our children don't see it. And assuming that our children are not watching us and our children, assuming that our children are not learning about it. They are," Price said.

For those who may try to chalk up the recent situations to kids being kids, Price had one comment:

"Whenever you are in a power position, or in an advantage group, it is it does not make sense, it is not the morally right thing to do. It is not an expression of empathy and compassion, to tell a joke about a group that is disadvantaged," Price said.

It's something taught in inclusion training that staff at some metro school districts undergo, but not necessarily students.

"I think we have the opportunity to make some of our best gains in this area when we really listen to the voice of students I believe those voices and experiences in a way that unfortunately adults are trying to explain away," Dr. Dennis Carpenter, CEO of Aspirational Insights Consulting and former Lee's Summit Schools superintendent, said.

In a recent study from the School Superintendents Association, nearly 90% of superintendents said conversations about race and equity are either 'extremely' or 'very important' but only 21% said they were ‘very well prepared' for that responsibility.

"Ignoring this problem is not going to make it go away. It's going to keep showing up in different ways. And the people who are at the other end of these jokes at the other end of these signs, at some point get to a place where they're saying no more," Price said.