Escambia School Superintendent Apologizes For Racial Diversity Training Video Seen By Some As ‘Divisive’

August 13, 2021

Escambia County School Superintendent Tim Smith apologized Thursday for a diversity training video that all district employees were required to watch.

The video’s intent was to train teachers and staff on how to educate and interact with students of a different race. The video depicted several scenarios in which white teachers and adults showed perceived racial bias against African Americans before stating that staff members and teachers should be aware of their biases. (A link to the video is at the bottom of this article.)

“This video was not intended to offend, anger or divide our employees, or anyone,” Smith said, reading from a prepared statement. “I apologize.”

“The idea of the video was mine, and I asked that it be shared with all district employees. Our goal as a district is to close the achievement gap between our white and black students in both English and math. That gaps are 34% and 35%. This video has no impact or ties to curriculum. We are in full, 100% compliance with the State Board of Education’s recent decision on critical race theory.”

“We must begin to close the achievement gap. The question is how? Clear answers may not be readily available, but we can only do it together on one accord…My hope is that we can move forward united and dedicated to reaching all students,” Smith stated.

Only black and white races were included in the video.

Board member Kevin Adams said he saw the video at a bus driver in-service training.

“It stunned me. Thirty-eight years with the Department of Defense with the United States Navy taking training every year in diversity, I’ve never seen nothing like that,” Adams said. “I think it should be pulled back. I don’t think that video should be shown anymore. It was divisive, and we don’t need that. We all need to come together as a team.”

Adams said he wants future policy related items to come to a school board workshop before being distributed throughout the county. “That’s not the place to make policies; the policies should be made here (before the school board). Unless my board attorney is going to tell me otherwise, we don’t make policy at training.”

“I think the video is definitely not the right tact for us to take,” board member Paul Festsko said. “I would appreciate, sir, if it was taken down and no longer mandatory.”

“I am the godmother of 47 children, and they’re not depressed” community member B. Thomas told the board. “I was very disturbed about this video. It was setting a view like we have a problem in the school system.”

“It is improper. We are not oppressed,” Thomas, who is African American, continued. “Yes, I’m angry about it. I think it’s a race theory you want it to be in the system, but it’s not going to work.’

Alice Downs, a 20-year elementary school teacher is Escambia County said the video was a mandatory “watch party” for employees, and they were required to sign a Google form that they had watched it. She said there were “seven scenes of completely racist white people depicted in the video … You are taught to be racist. These kids are not racists. They love each other.”

“I really, really hope this video was not shown to the students from Montclair Elementary School where it was filmed and are show participated in making the video,” Downs continued. “What kind of impression do you think that left on them? They got to watch scene after scene and after scene of white racists. What kind of conditioning is that? And also what kind of impression did it give to the two white child actors in the video that had to practice that scene multiple times. Practicing being racist. The overall message is a valid one, but the way they were pitting us against each other, I don’t believe it. You totally missed the mark on this, superintendent, and you have a lot of teachers of all races upset. No Asians were in this video; no Hispanics were in this video.”

Mike Hill, an insurance agent and former state representative, said the video was demeaning to both black children and to teachers. He said the attempt to close the achievement gap between black and white students is applaudable, but the video does not accomplish the task.

“It gives too many black children the idea that they are victims, that they have a victim mentality,” he said.

Hill said a portion of the video about linguistics was especially appalling as it suggested teachers should try to communicate with students using Ebonics.

“Ebonics is nothing more than poor English,” he said. “English is the international language for finance. The better you are with writing and speaking English, the more money you make. We should be teaching these children how to improve their English skills, not accept when their English skills do not meet the correct level.”

To watch the 22 minute video, posted by Escambia County citizen Larry Downs, click or tap here.

Pictured: Scenes from “Diversity, Equity, and Closing the Achievement Gap,” required viewing for all Escambia County School District teachers and staff.”

Comments

117 Responses to “Escambia School Superintendent Apologizes For Racial Diversity Training Video Seen By Some As ‘Divisive’”

  1. Steve on August 17th, 2021 11:01 pm

    hopefully a kid will get up tomorrow not knowing they are a victim or victimizer , wait around for a late bus , get to school , fire up a bunson burner , dissect a frog , look through a microscope and figure out this COVID mess , we need help , that’s the way. I would like to see my tax dollars spent .

  2. Kevin from Century on August 17th, 2021 9:35 pm

    He’s not sorry, he’s sorry that he tried to push his CRT through the system with the thought he wouldn’t be cause or told on. He needs to resign or fired. The Governor made it clear, Critical Race Theory WILL not be addressed or taught at any level in the Florida School System, private or public. It’s all about division; nothing more, nothing less. So much for the lessons Dr. MLK preached in Selma, on Pensacola’s Palafox MLK Plaza, Nashville, Montgomery, DC and further. Nice try though. RESIGN NOW!

  3. David Huie Green on August 17th, 2021 7:47 pm

    REGARDING:
    “attempt to introduce Critical Race Theory” and “There is no such thing as Critical Race Theory”

    For those saying Critical Race Theory is or isn’t in the video, the concept of systemic racism is a part of CRT and mentioned around 13′ into the video. The idea that there is no such theory doesn’t fully agree with my buddy, Wiki, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory
    but in a way it does because Wiki points out there are multiple contradictory theories or at least ideas NOT JUST ONE all with the notion SOMEBODY ELSE IS TO BLAME.
    The idea is that whites set up a system which works for them. And yet whites sometimes somehow find selves poor, imprisoned, failures in life while Asiatics often test higher and fare better. As Rasheed pointed out, “If Critical Race Theory…were true, what would the Olympics have looked like?”

    One interesting part of CRT is that it requires use of storytelling to illuminate and explore lived experiences and the video does exactly that, showing you what you want to see. One failure, though, was when the video shows a child with injuries consistent with child abuse. A trained physician suspects child abuse but drops it when he realizes the invective he can expect if he speaks up. Or that is how it looked to me.

    Troy S’s, “The gap in educational achievement will only close when we begin to close the marriage gap among races across this whole country,” is perfectly valid statistically by pointing out two-parent families perform better but it assumes the missing fathers would be as good as the ones who married the mother of the children they sired. This COULD be true but might not be. For example, few believe a child is better off with person who abuses children, rents them out, uses them as drug mules, teaches them to steal. (And I am picturing here a couple of white parents I know who did several of these things and they harm it did.) One example is shown in the video with a child who assumes everybody else is at fault.

    David for critical/rational thinking
    (if nothing else works)

  4. Steve on August 17th, 2021 5:59 am

    apologies to smith , he only asked that the video be “shared” with district employees . He has no credibility!

  5. Steve on August 16th, 2021 8:26 am

    just received my proposed property taxes , it is criminal that about half of what a pay goes to a filmmaker school superintendent, it stinks to high heaven ! Leave Now !

  6. Steve on August 16th, 2021 2:56 am

    what bus driver , teacher or any other decent human being would want to work under an organization with smith at the top ?

  7. Sandy on August 16th, 2021 12:16 am

    As a concerned grandmother my plans are to attend the school board meetings.
    If it’s not possible, at least I know now that I can watch it livestream. Also to have contact with the school board members who have made themselves assessable to the public.
    I hope the community will stay engaged and informed. Our children need our eyes, ears and voices on their behalf.

  8. Steve on August 15th, 2021 8:11 pm

    We are one of the poorest counties in the country and smith wasted tax payer dollars , he admitted after caught that he did just that . smith wasted tax payer dollars !

  9. Steve on August 15th, 2021 5:30 pm

    smith didn’t divide our community , we are united to have smith fired !

  10. Mary Holley on August 15th, 2021 1:53 pm

    PLEASE FORWARD THIS VIDEO TO governorron.desantis@eog.myflorida.com AND commissioner@fldoe.org
    if you are opposed to this video being paid for by our tax dollars with money being taken from the education of our students OR if you are opposed to this video being forced on every Escambia County School District educational employee OR if you are opposed to Ebonics being taught as proper English in our schools as directed by this video (God only help these children achieve high scores on national tests for English, etc).

  11. Steve on August 15th, 2021 11:37 am

    show your support for smith at 850-432-6121

  12. Dist. Teacher on August 15th, 2021 8:22 am

    I had to watch this “diversity” video. I was personally offended that this was so “white and black” that I immediately emailed my school board member asking:
    1. Have you viewed this video?
    2. Where was the diversity?
    3. Where were the Hispanic children, where were the Asian children, where were the Indian children.
    4. Where were the children with disabilities?
    True diversity includes everyone, not just two specific ethnic groups.
    Only response I received was “had not seen the video “I then took the opportunity to forward it to the member.
    I have not received an apology from Dr. Smith via any means of communication. Not through district email, nor phone system. Can’t find the video of the apology either.
    I am a Caucasia who attended a predominantly black school in this district (Wedgwood) as a child, who was taught by predominantly black teachers. I rode a predominantly black school bus, with no issues.
    Teach your children KINDNESS no matter your color. We all bleed red and live in America. Start acknowledging each other, just BE KIND.

  13. Duke of Wawbeek on August 15th, 2021 7:39 am

    I have had critical race theories for decades, the problem being that each time I try to discuss them in open forum, I end up receiving a 30 day suspension of my media account.?

  14. farm-hill on August 15th, 2021 7:31 am

    Troy S hit the nail on the head with his comment. I watched the video all the way through and I can say that about 60% of the video is ok. 40% of the content makes it seem that black children have their hands tied behind their backs because of white people, and all white people are racists. The video depicts that the young black male student has two respectable parents that care for him. I wish this were the case most of the time. This video completely ignored the real reason for the lower achievement gap between most black and white students. One-parent families are the norm for most black children in this generation. Many children are being raised by a grandmother because the parents are not involved in their lives. Many children don’t even know who their real daddy is. This happens among black and white races alike, but it is prevalent among the black race, so much as it is sadly considered to be normative. Blaming the disparity of student achievement on white people, is shifting the focus away from the real problem. The degradation of the two-parent, stable home has to be addressed. Educators can’t fix everything. Children’s home lives are a factor that this video glosses over. In the end, this video is useless, except to be used as a propaganda tool to make black people angry with white people.

  15. sam on August 15th, 2021 6:23 am

    and the people have spoken. remember to vote, that works even better.

  16. David Huie Green on August 14th, 2021 10:58 pm

    REGARDING:
    “proposed eliminating Cum Laude honors in favor of a participation prize. Root Marxist like”

    I am not familiar with the writings of Marx which call for”Participation Prizes.” Please let us know where Karl kalled for kooky awards like that.

    (Remember, there’s more than one kind of nut in the forest.)

    David for peanuts, pecans, cashews, chestnuts,…

  17. Steve on August 14th, 2021 7:53 pm

    “The power of excellence is overwhelming. It is always in demand, and nobody cares about its color .” Daniel James , Jr .

  18. Howie on August 14th, 2021 5:38 pm

    Tim Smith, Lesa Morgan and Bill Slayton need to resign.

  19. Panhandlers on August 14th, 2021 5:36 pm

    Some seriously hateful Southerners.

  20. Toley on August 14th, 2021 3:46 pm

    “Looked to me like the video was made in California. Some years ago. Liberals are pushing CRT.”

    Sorry but this was filmed at Montclair Elementary in Pensacola under the guidance of the school district. The “actors” are teachers and students in the district.

  21. Steve on August 14th, 2021 1:22 pm

    smith won’t be lonely long , your crew can join you after our next elections !

  22. Marxist Exposer on August 14th, 2021 1:19 pm

    Did Lesa Morgan have any say in this nonsense? Remember, she is the one that proposed eliminating Cum Laude honors in favor of a participation prize. Root Marxist like Morgan and Smith out of the Escambia School system for good.

  23. Outta here on August 14th, 2021 1:17 pm

    Maybe in his next great move the leftist genius we have for a superintendent will follow Oregon and make reading, writing and arithmetic all null and void in the county for testing. If you dumb people down enough they’ll have no choice other than to follow the lemming leader anywhere he goes. After all, they’ll have no skills to continue on to higher education or Lord knows, GO TO WORK! For our next great move the entire county will fall under the umbrella created by the rich and famous in this area because independence will be lost.

  24. Resident on August 14th, 2021 1:12 pm

    “Looked to me like the video was made in California. Some years ago. Liberals are pushing CRT.”

    Some of the people in the video are current administrators in the district and the CURRENT Escambia County teacher of the year for THIS year

  25. FR on August 14th, 2021 1:07 pm

    Looked to me like the video was made in California. Some years ago. Liberals are pushing CRT.

  26. Steve on August 14th, 2021 12:20 pm

    You are NOT welcome here smith . Leave Now !

  27. Bogia Bluegrass on August 14th, 2021 12:15 pm

    Contacting politicians will at least let them know people care but it is unlikely to do any good in that most of our politicians don’t care and many are incompetent; but hey, send it any way.
    All the same, the outcry should continue and the superintendent should be fired!

  28. Troy S. on August 14th, 2021 12:11 pm

    I watched the entire thing, and I thought it is probably 60% useful, and 40% super patronizing and sometimes flat out false. The first five minutes are supposed to give the impression that racism (from whom? teachers? our community at large?) is at the heart of the educational achievement gap in this county. That is simply not the case.

    The entire approach to this training needs to be revised. It’s entirely appropriate to help teachers understand how best to approach the students they will be teaching, but let’s be honest, the problem is not that two-parent black families are suffering from racism, it’s that too many black families are not two-parent families. I live in a middle to upper-middle class neighborhood here in Cantonment. My neighborhood reflects the broader demographics of the Pensacola area, and is about 40 to 50 percent black, including both of my nextdoor neighbors, who are wonderful. There is a neighborhood of low-rent duplexes that is right next to ours that is probably 90% black. I jog in both neighborhoods and am friendly with everybody. You know what the difference is between our neighborhoods? Mine is full of two-parent households, while the other is not. This keeps with the broader statistics that show two-parent white and black families earn very close to the same amount of money. Kids who come to school prepared to learn (and are then supported in their academics at home are) more likely to come from two-parent homes (of any race).

    And I think what I really couldn’t stand in the video (and is a result of CRT) was the flat out dismissal of the idea of a color-blind society. We’re labeled ‘Oblivious’. That’s insulting, and not just of us, but of MLK’s legacy. I’m sure that their intentions are good, but man is this on the wrong track. Students are not suffering because their teachers are racist or at best racially insensitive.

    The gap in educational achievement will only close when we begin to close the marriage gap among races across this whole country. We’d have better luck hiring Kevin Samuels to go door to door in our county in an attempt to solve the relationship issues plaguing families here than insinuating the racism of our community at large⁠—and especially of its teachers⁠—is the problem underlying the achievement gap in this county.

  29. Sboone on August 14th, 2021 11:07 am

    We need to pray for unity in our city like nevee before. Satan will uae any tool that he can to bring division among our schools. We need the help of God like never before!

  30. P'cola on August 14th, 2021 10:00 am

    All of the people involved are State of Florida employees so I sent notification to Governor Desantis and the Commissoner of Education requesting them to investigate and terminate those involved with preparation, distribution, and approval of this divisive and racist material.

    Desantis
    governorron.desantis@eog.myflorida.com

    Corcoran
    commissioner@fldoe.org

  31. JTV on August 14th, 2021 6:18 am

    As Coke says, Be Less White Pensacola.

  32. sam on August 14th, 2021 6:12 am

    someone needs to be handed their walking papers. pitiful.

  33. JTV on August 14th, 2021 6:05 am

    If this had been Leonard, the School board would have fired him by now, because it’s the liberal sweetheart they hired, nothing will be done.

  34. Steve on August 14th, 2021 6:01 am

    ALL elected officials supporting smith please raise your hands !

  35. Callie on August 13th, 2021 9:44 pm

    This video is offensive, to both black and white people. It is divisive and does nothing to help our schools. Students of all colors need a good education, not this nonsense. It was wrong for the superintendent to mandate all employees to watch this trash. The only reason he’s apologizing is because it went public. Parents need to complain to their school board representatives about this disgusting video.

    God doesn’t look at the color of our skin, just our hearts. May God bless our children and keep them safe!

  36. J D on August 13th, 2021 9:32 pm

    Does everything that deals with race have to be tied to CRT in everyone’s mind????? Race problems do need to be addressed and talked about without being tied to the CRT. Yes let’s talk about the problems in race relations. Bet quite a few on here think it’s all A ok in the world of race relations and nothing’s wrong .

  37. Steve on August 13th, 2021 9:15 pm

    malfeasance is present , let’s find the criminal act and then fight paying smith

  38. Garbage video on August 13th, 2021 8:39 pm

    What GARBAGE!! So fed up with this crap. Remove the wacko Super & stop forcing this trash. Not everything is racism… but if u want to address it, let’s show some videos about black on white racism…. Stop this liberal agenda!!

  39. Steve on August 13th, 2021 8:29 pm

    another case of government hurting the citizens

  40. Steve on August 13th, 2021 8:08 pm

    smiths film certainly doesn’t help with law enforcement -citizen cooperation !

  41. Bonnie Exner on August 13th, 2021 8:03 pm

    Full disclosure..I am a 17 year retired Civics Teacher from ECSB and HAVE NOT watched the video..my question is a legal one…IF the school board fires the present superintendent and hires a new one, will the taxpayers be on the hook for paying 2 superintendent salaries???

  42. Steve on August 13th, 2021 5:51 pm

    try this in Santa Rosa county

  43. Steve on August 13th, 2021 5:41 pm

    writing is on the wall , time to go smith !

  44. Lee on August 13th, 2021 5:34 pm

    @Reader – Yes, in 2018 our county voted in FAVOR of the school board choosing the superintendent. But voters elected the school board. Evidently those people had enough confidence in the board to relinquish their own rights to vote. Go figure.

  45. Erin on August 13th, 2021 5:20 pm

    I am a recently retired teacher of over 40+ years of service with the Escambia County School District. I have never had to watch anything like this piece of trash in my entire career.

    I am wondering how that Pensacola crowd of business owners that pushed for an appointed superintendent fell about it now. I also wonder how the School Board members feel about their selection of Dr. Smith instead of Keith Leonard. The Board should have chosen Mr. Leonard as superintendent but they did not have the guts to make the right choice. Mr. Leonard knows this district inside and out and was not only the obvious choice but the correct choice. We would not be in this situation if Mr. Leonard was the superintendent.

    Also, we would not have so many outsiders brought in to be principals and assistant principals. As a district, we have so many talented and capable people that could have been moved into those positions. We have tried bringing people in rather move our district employees up and that did not work out very well. Remember the former Warrington Elementary Principal?

    I would also like to know if School District funds were paid for the trash video and how much it costs. I guess we can do a public request to the District but it would be nice if they let us know. That money could/should have been put in for the ESPs of this District. They are some of the lowest-paid and underappreciated employees yet they still work the hardest for the sudents of this District.

    One of the teachers in the video said we should let the students use eBonics. I would like to know which part of the state test, which we are trying to close the gap between students, would help close that gap? ELA Reading? ELA Writing? Mathematics? Science? End of Course Assessments?

  46. Citizen on August 13th, 2021 4:31 pm

    Tim Smith needs to resign or be removed from office by the school board.
    Neither will happen.

    So we must put the pressure on the school board members, who are elected officials.
    Tell them to remove Smith or we will remove them at the next election.

    Do NOT let this go away quietly – that’s exactly what Tim Smith wants.
    Smith knows exactly what he’s doing and what he did; it wasn’t an innocent mistake.
    This is just the tip of the iceberg. He will continue to push his radical agenda.
    It is his goal to make his divisive, progressive ideology the new norm in Escambia School District.

  47. Kat on August 13th, 2021 4:12 pm

    I am appalled and disappointing at the reaction here to this video. It’s a good start to addressing bias and racism in our world. Tim Smith and the folks who took time to make the video should be commended.Complaining about this video shows your true colors. More compassion is needed in America, People’s situations are rarely as they may seem. We tend to jump to conclusions.

  48. JR on August 13th, 2021 3:32 pm

    The Video is disgusting.
    Political and agenda driven.
    Smith needs to resign.
    The School Board needs to resign.

  49. ProudArmyParent on August 13th, 2021 3:23 pm

    This Superintend needs to go!
    This is what you get when “We The People” gave up our write to vote in a Superintend of our own choice!

  50. 11B OEF Combat Veteran on August 13th, 2021 3:22 pm

    I love what I’m seeing here.

    Keep up the public outcry, folks!

    Mind yourself, use the golden rule, and we can fight this oppression.

  51. Patrick on August 13th, 2021 3:04 pm

    @Pencil
    Critical race theory doesn’t exist? Try telling that to the (liberal) law professors who coined the term. Yes it was/is a theory. That is how it started – as a theory. Newsflash, so did Marxism. The video may not be directly promoting CRT/Systemic racism, but it is definitely rooted in that idea: That only white people are capable of being racist.

  52. Panhandlers on August 13th, 2021 2:25 pm

    Congratulations on achieving your goal of being offended Panhandlers!!

  53. Troy on August 13th, 2021 1:52 pm

    Maybe this video isnt critical race theory but it strikes me as racist. I dont see a problem with some of the ideas in the video but it clearly targets the white as racist by the realization that a minority or minorities exist. I dont accept it as truth and can see that it is a liberal attack on our children to indoctrinate them and to divide us all as a society ! Cultural differences are not racial ! I have a better solution to the problem at hand and that is teach our children what we as society want them to know as fundamental basics of education and leave the rest up to parents ! School is to educate not indoctrinate ! DO NOT TEACH GOALS OF POLITICAL IDEOLOGY INTO YOUNG IMPRESSIONABLE CHILDREN ! ITS NOT YOUR JOB TO ITS THE PARENTS ! IT WILL NEVER BE THE RIGHT OF AN EDUCATIONAL FACILITY TO INDOCTRINATE OUR CHILDREN TO ANY BELIEF THAT DIFFERS FROM THEIR PARENTS ! GET RID OF TIM SMITH !

  54. Bill on August 13th, 2021 1:33 pm

    @wow

    lol that wasn’t George Floyd with a crown on his head it was Biggie Smalls

  55. Gator on August 13th, 2021 1:05 pm

    What happens when you get someone from way up north who does very well in an important industry, makes a lot of money, comes down south, becomes a great philanthropist, which we greatly thank him for, but then decides he can fix education, in which he has absolutely no hands on experience, hires weak rejects from the hall center in a failed attempt to start charters, then decides he needs to control the public schools by backing school board members who will hire the superintendent he wants after he paid for a campaign to get rid of the elected superintendent?

  56. cj on August 13th, 2021 12:48 pm

    Did the parents of the children involved in the video give up their rights to sue regarding this video?

  57. JD on August 13th, 2021 12:42 pm

    Everyone swears elections are rigged and stacked against certain candidates . But look , this is what happens when you don’t have a vote in a decision. Never give away your power to vote and choose .

  58. Toney on August 13th, 2021 12:40 pm

    Reading, writing, math and proper English are what’s CRITICAL to be successful in life. Lowering standards and creating division does not accomplish this. These people knew exactly what they were doing by slipping this video in. They think a simple “ my bad “ will make this go away. We can’t let that happen. This guy and his buddies need to be removed. We are letting the few make decisions for us.

  59. Wow on August 13th, 2021 12:31 pm

    This video was awful I was offended when I saw George Floyd with a crown on his head on a shirt. Then they tell us that we need to speak to African American students in phrases they could understand. And how there was two kinds of brain one is a educated brain and I cant remember thee other kind of brain. Well the other brain was living off fear and try to get by to survive. I had the feeling that if I had a white kid and African American kid spit in my face that only the white kid should get in trouble because the African American kid was acting out because fear.

  60. pencil on August 13th, 2021 12:30 pm

    There is no such thing as Critical Race Theory . . . . its called American History, these things actually happened.

    SLAVERY: 1619 – 1865 (246 YEARS)

    SEGREGATION: 1865 – 1954 (89 YEARS)

    REDLINING/DISCRIMINTORY LENDING/RACIAL COVENANTS: 1930 – 1975 (45 YEARS)

    AFFIRMITIVE ACTION: 1964 – 1999 (35 YEARS)

    CONSERVATIVES TALKING ABOUT AFFIRMITIVE ACTION AS IF ITS STILL AROUND 1999- 2021 (22 YEARS)

    How can you possibly speak about CRT when you don’t even know how American History connects to current events?

  61. Reader on August 13th, 2021 12:29 pm

    Lee wrote “Voters put this man in office. He is not a liberal.”

    That’s not true. He was hired by the school board. Voters gave up their right to elect a school superintendent.

  62. northofI10 on August 13th, 2021 12:26 pm

    #1: It LEAKED out which indicates it was approved to be shown and acceptable as a way of interfering in teacher’s classrooms.
    #2: How many different ways of teaching are teachers responsible/accountable for
    in order to reach how many different races, cultures, religions, sexual
    preferences and socio-economic groups? Where does the divisive nature of
    political agenda stop? How much more can be expected and/or blamed on
    teachers?
    #3 Where does the lowering of expectations for different groups stop? To promote
    this racist system which groups will be decided to succeed and which ones will
    fail or simply be pushed along to be someone else’s problems like the criminal justice field?
    #4 ALL of those involved in this secrecy should be held accountable and fired.
    How about educating with dividing?

    If a teacher did this on their own and taught differently due to race–he or
    she would be fired by the same individuals that approve of this racist
    system. The teacher’s union and some of their political agenda driven
    teachers need to go before more damage is done. This superintendent
    should be the first terminated.

  63. Lee on August 13th, 2021 12:11 pm

    Voters put this man in office. He is not a liberal.

  64. Lee on August 13th, 2021 12:07 pm

    This video might be offensive, but it is NOT critical race theory. Do some research and stop being parrots. We have enough real problems without inventing more.

  65. NOT HAPPY on August 13th, 2021 11:57 am

    enough of yall voted a way a very inportant right to have a say what our school system does the school board dam well knew this could happen there the ones who should be fired for coning voters!!

  66. Lou on August 13th, 2021 11:47 am

    This material is just awful. Go ahead and create more racism and lack of tolerance in an already divided society. Concentrate in educating our youth, not on divide them.

  67. Another Jim on August 13th, 2021 11:34 am

    Notice how the very first part of this video every white person in it is a bad person. There is a reason for it and Tim Smith knows it, only a few people will watch the video more than a few minutes. Remember people this is what you get when you give up your right to vote, I hope you people that voted to do away with the elected superintendent are happy. As for Tim Smith’s job, as long as he continues to be a “yes man” to at least three board members he will have a job, since he doesn’t answer to the people of the county.

  68. David Huie Green on August 13th, 2021 11:14 am

    REGARDING:
    “Then when there’s pushback he apologizes for it.

    If you believe in something at least have the courage to stand by your convictions”

    If you become convinced you were wrong, you should have the courage to say so. Being afraid to change is NOT courage. (If I’m ever wrong, I intend to admit it. It’s bound to happen eventually.)

    The video said people of different cultural backgrounds sometimes see things differently. In a way, this proves that claim.

    David for love and joy and unity in goodness

  69. Rick on August 13th, 2021 10:50 am

    I’m a 20 year military veteran and I stopped teaching becauseof this type of stuff. Black students can literally threaten a white teacher and the administration will blame the teacher.

  70. Mike on August 13th, 2021 10:13 am

    Link to Escambia county school board members.
    They would be the ones to contact about Timothy smiths removal as superintendent of schools. It would take a lot of emails from the voters and parents of Escambia county to say we don’t want this CRT material in our school system or a superintendent pushing this agenda.

    https://ecsd-fl.schoolloop.com/ecsdsb

  71. William 2 on August 13th, 2021 10:13 am

    Mr. Superintendent, apparently, you are not reviewing the material that your office is distributing to staff, Do your job so you don’t have to apologize for things you should have known!!!

  72. just a fact on August 13th, 2021 10:10 am

    His type is about dividing the people.

  73. P'cola on August 13th, 2021 9:56 am

    “The video’s intent was to train teachers and staff on how to educate and interact with students of a different race.”

    Did it teach the black teachers how to educate and interact with white students? Didn’t think so.

    Can’t wait till Smith implements his Drag Queen Story hour for the elementary schools. That will be very educational.

    Fire Smith and replace the BOD that hired him. He’s no Sherman Robinson.

    B.T. Washington, Class of ‘86

  74. EMD on August 13th, 2021 9:54 am

    This is about MARXISM. DON’T fall for it. MARXISTS and their ilk are the ones causing most of our problems. They WANT us to feel oppressed, so they can rule over us. They will be the worse slave masters you have ever seen. Don’t fall for it. There has been a lot of progress in race relations and equality since the sixties. I have personally brought up this subject with random “Blacks” when out and about. They agree there is no big problem. Some ended up hugging me. They agree that others are trying to create a problem, so “they” can solve it. Who are “they?” Study for yourself and pay attention. They are embedded throughout our country, and they are NOT your friends. Most of them may be deceived. Don’t be one of their unwitting dupes.

  75. Denny on August 13th, 2021 9:52 am

    M, mnon and Bogia, this video is NOT about critical race theory, it’s a p*** poor attempt at teaching unconscious bias. CRT is merely the new name for institutionalized racism, something I learned about in the 70’s; unconscious bias is about becoming aware of our biases.

    Bogia, CRT and unconscious bias are not Marxist concepts, they’re facts that even I, a white liberal who served my country for 28 years, have seen.

    Jim, affirmative action means to expand the recruitment area to reach all groups, not just those with connections. Selecting someone based on their race IS discrimination, not affirmative action.

    Gene, the School Board selects the superintendent. The BCC is a different organization.

    And Joanna, thanks for using William’s free space to advertise your school!

  76. Tim on August 13th, 2021 9:52 am

    As a retired teacher of forty years, I find this whole situation appalling. The school board members are the ones that hired Dr Smith. If he is the best they could find, then we need to find better school board members that who hire someone who reflects the values of our community. If I were still teaching, I would have refused to sign any forms and got up and walked out of the room. This superintendent has made too many mistakes and needs to go…..however we still have to pay him off…that’s what you get with an appointed position.

  77. Louis Toussaint on August 13th, 2021 9:36 am

    This was a wonderful video. It is a fact is that many of our teachers in the district do not understand, and struggle with teaching African American students. No the video is not critical race theory. In fact, before you state that something is Critical Race Theory, I ask that you merely look up the origins of critical race theory and the use thereof.

    This was an honest attempt for teachers in our district to understand that there is not one primary way to instruct students whose race, culture, and backgrounds are different from theirs. Or better yet, it also reaches out to African-American teachers who may have different experiences from the students that they teach. A monolithic approach to education that does not place value on the student will not move to close the achievement gap. In order for this community to see better jobs, and stronger industries it will be mandatory to close achievement gaps and raise the educational achievement bar for all.

    To say that there is not a difference in the students in our school district is to turn a blind eye to the various races, cultures, social classes, and extreme poverty that exist here in Escambia County. Closing the achievement gap is a focus of Dr. Smith’s position. To shed light on the fact that there are educational approaches that will assist teachers, or help them to identify ways that they may better present a lesson is a big plus.

    It takes courage to be a leader. Thanks Dr. Smith for your courageous leadership to move Escambia County forward.

  78. JEC on August 13th, 2021 9:28 am

    Like others have said…never give up your right to vote in officials, especially the one that controls what your children learn.

    Ya’ll need to push for this guy to resign. This was on purpose.

  79. Angelbear on August 13th, 2021 9:26 am

    This looks like CRT for the staff to get to the kids. I get the diversity training, but this seems very bias to me. I feel for these kids that were asked to participate. Poor attempt. The superintendent needs to go.

  80. John Doe on August 13th, 2021 9:24 am

    I don’t believe there are a significant enough number of teachers that are racist and biased enough to oppress an entire group, but don’t kid yourself, they are out there.

  81. Steve on August 13th, 2021 9:13 am

    some of us don’t have the privilege to send our kids to a private school

  82. Unspoken on August 13th, 2021 9:13 am

    I am currently an employee of Escambia County School District.

    This video is the tip of the iceberg.

    The District is completely corrupt, inept and ineffective.

    Students are the last priority of the District.

    Press releases and news stories are job one!!!

  83. JM on August 13th, 2021 9:12 am

    I can see how the beginning of the video might be upsetting or even offensive. I am curious about people’s reactions to the rest of the video about classroom strategies: What strategies do you disagree with? What strategies might you agree with?

  84. Rasheed Jackson on August 13th, 2021 9:11 am

    I grew up in an era when desegregation was new. I attended junior high school in 1969 the year our schools were fully integrated. For the most part things went well. I attribute that to our guidance counsellor who just happened to be black. He was a great person highly respected by his peers and loved by the community he served, black and white, The Rev. Willie H. Carter. That first year there were more, black on black, and white on white fights than the mixed-race fights. It wasn’t until I reached high school that we started experiencing racial riots which were mostly caused by outside interference. It seems that people like to use the young impressionable and ignorant to spread discord and division. So, here we are 40+ years later and instead of showing the accomplishments and how far we have progressed since the October 29th, 1969, Supreme Court Ruling, some are trying to paint a picture that just does not exist. Yes, there is racial bias, and it travels in both directions but that is among the few, not the masses. Yes, there will always be divisions of some sort. My Children attended a school that was the combination of two rival schools being merged and there were and still are discriminatory practices based on what side of the creek you live on, again that is just a few people that aren’t willing to accept change. There will always be biases and discriminatory behavior, and not necessarily among the races. We, the human race, discriminate against others based on looks, hair color, eye color, short, tall, fat, skinny, whether or not we think they are pretty or maybe we just don’t like the way they walk, and yes even what part of the country you originate from. Again, this is not the majority but the few. If Critical Race Theory, and it is just a theory, were true what would the Olympics have looked like? All one needs to do to disprove this ideology is look at the athletes that represented the USA. Our athletes were probably the most diverse group than any other nation. OUR ATHLETES. The young men and women that represented this country came from all walks of life and many different nationalities to represent the USA, and the majority wore the red, white, and blue with pride and draped the flag around their shoulders expressing their gratification for the country they represented. This is the true picture of who and what we are as a nation. This is what we need to be showing our young people and everyone for that matter that thinks we are an oppressing nation. Yep, we cheered for them all, from the 4’8” gymnast to the 6’8” Volleyball player, the long and lean swimmers and runner as well as the muscled-up weightlifters. We cheered them all on because they all had one thing in common, they were Americans representing our United States of America. No matter their skin, Red, Yellow, Black, or White they all wore the red, white, and blue!! No division here no bias just Americans!! Time we start teaching That!!

  85. Mike on August 13th, 2021 9:07 am

    Smith won’t resign obviously he’s here promote CRT in out school system. If something is not done now out schools will be turned into how Loudoun county school system is run. Tim Smith should be fired from his position as what I could watch of this video is horrible. It promote that white people are racist even if they don’t know it and that African Americans are always being looked at as thugs that is racist. Heck they talk about diversity where are the Spanish kids or the Asian kids in this video? This is just a clear attempt to turn us against each other. I was born in the 80’s when I was in school I had loads of friends of every race at school. I didn’t see color I saw good or bad in the person. We now have a country that wants racism cause if the divide us it’s harder for us to fight back. Socialism is on its way to becoming the normal in America. Push back don’t let people like Tim Smith control your kids Loudoun county is pushing back now in a up hill battle cause they didn’t stop it sooner.

  86. Sandy on August 13th, 2021 8:52 am

    Thank you for this news coverage. I am so outraged at this moment for this
    trash being introduced and mandated in our education system.
    Smith’s apology is not accepted. We want him removed as well as
    Brian Freeman, assistant principal and whom ever other adults involved to be dealt with accordingly. A full investigation needs to take place. Governor DeSantis and the Fl. Department of Education need to address this. What was the violation made using our students in this video? A slap on the wrist isn’t going to work.
    We should contact all the board members. It would be well worth watching the public forum to see our outstanding citizens and teacher express theirselves.
    I hope it goes viral and the big networks pick it up. Thanks to Board member Kevin Adams. Dr. Edler never opened her mouth. Shame on her!

  87. just a fact on August 13th, 2021 8:47 am

    Tim Smith is a white liberal. The biggest threat to America.

  88. Susie on August 13th, 2021 8:47 am

    Fire this guy!!! Why even bring up such ridiculous poop? Whatever happen to seeing people as PEOPLE? This Smith nut does NOT belong teaching OUR children!!! I hope he knows God is watching.

  89. just a fact on August 13th, 2021 8:32 am

    Martin Luther King Jr Had a message for all of us. Tim Smith just spat in his face. So sad.

  90. Steve on August 13th, 2021 8:26 am

    ANY elected official that brought smith to our county should be very nervous about their job !

  91. Deanna Winston on August 13th, 2021 8:12 am

    THIS VIDEO SEEMS LIKE THIS IS SOMETHING THE DEPUTY SUPT. WOULD PRODUCE. SMITH IS NEW HERE AND HE IS BEING LED BY OTHERS.

  92. DK on August 13th, 2021 7:57 am

    What an idiot ! Dude needs to be removed yesterday!

  93. Steve on August 13th, 2021 7:55 am

    Smith needs to watch the “ How to pack a U-Haul moving truck” video !

  94. John on August 13th, 2021 7:46 am

    He should resign, and never allowed to work in a school system again. Who does this guy get his marching orders from? Be careful Pensacola and Escambia county, don’t let this creep into our school system, it’s already bad enough.

  95. Rusty Shakleford on August 13th, 2021 7:30 am

    For all of you who voted in favor to have our school superintendent appointed instead of elected….this is what you got. critical race theory being shoved down the throats of our educators in a historically conservative part of the country. For all we know our local elections are also being tampered with by evil folks as it just does not make any sense. Interesting how Tim Smith was brought in from somewhere else. Get ready for the bus load or 10 of illegals being dumped in Escambia County. They are being delivered to red counties.

  96. Jojo on August 13th, 2021 7:22 am

    This is what happens when you don’t elect the school superintendent. What else is he hiding

  97. JTV on August 13th, 2021 7:17 am

    This is the liberal hire for superintendent so many were proud of.
    Equality is to treat everyone the same.

  98. Floyd Crum on August 13th, 2021 7:13 am

    As a black man this is very degrading we are not depressed and my main concern is the way this video were made using young black children’s as bait even with behaviors and the anger to entice racism on the white teachers this is a disgrace and the video needs to come down immediately we will not stand for this in escambia county school

  99. Oversight on August 13th, 2021 7:06 am

    “Mr. Smith Dumbs It Down” should be the school district’s new motto. In just a few short months, the superintendent along with a complicit school board removed academic standards for middle schoolers, so they can be passed on to high school without the prior requisite GPA. He attempted to remove recognition of valedictorian and salutatorian from graduating classes; however, public outcry quickly shelved that dumb idea. And now this. Teachers being required to use “Ebonics” isn’t going to improve student ELA scores. But this will more likely than not have the opposite outcome. Using and practicing standard English in our schools be the only option because students must be able to read and write English to effectively communicate in the business world. I strongly feel that the school board has made a horrific error in hiring the “doctor”. He continues to make bad decisions, which are dragging the district in the wrong direction.

  100. Joanna Johannes on August 13th, 2021 6:49 am

    I am from Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1984, I was a junior in high school and experienced our area’s first de-segregation busing project. It was a realization for everyone involved that we are all the same, regardless of our color. Today, I am a superintendent for a private school in Escambia county. We teach our students to embrace diversity and appreciate our differences. Our teachers and students at Lighthouse Academy love each other and we are one big family. Agendas, as seen in the Escambia County Public school video, is only a ploy to divide us all again. Those that fall for this false guidance need to consider the negative impact it has on our amazing kids in Escambia county. We teach our students, of all races, to stand up for what is right and to engage in “independent thinking“. Don’t fall for this liberal agenda that encourages teachers, parents, and students to fall into line like sheep. We are Americans, which means we come from all backgrounds and many beautiful colors. At Lighthouse, we are a multi-colored blanket of unity. Our students know the feeling of loving one another regardless of race, color or creed. It’s amazing and they are all going to be wonderful leaders of this nation that will teach de-segregation to all.

  101. Bogia Bluegrass on August 13th, 2021 6:47 am

    Demand this superintendent resign! An apology doesn’t suffice.This is the most divisive, racially fascist video I have ever watched applied to our schools. It is a back door way of teaching critical race theory and stigmatizes and stereotypes whites AND blacks. Statements about Systemic racism,, assimilation v. Differences between the races and the carefully crafted racist flow chart all are rabid Marxists concepts to further divide a nation already ripped apart.
    This will go down as follows….there will be some posts about this, some parents complaining and nothing will happen. When the video resurfaces at the start of next school year not even a blip will be raised on the radar of parents or teachers and the propaganda of the Left will roll on unabated.
    Barely a year ago a Santa Rosa teacher faced termination because of comments she made on Facebook about Black Lives Matter and riots-her comments were NOTHING near as inflammatory as this video, yet she faced being Canceled by the Left.
    There should be an outrage across the race spectrum for this racial fascism excrement that was dumped in the video. Did no one watch this before approving it for the employees to watch?
    Write your worthless politicians, call the school board, go to the meetings and DEMAND they remove all responsible for this garbage.

  102. Gene on August 13th, 2021 6:25 am

    And this is what you get when the BCC picks the superintendent,, because they know better than you the voter! NEVER GIVE UP YOUR VOTE!

  103. Steve on August 13th, 2021 6:22 am

    Fire smith !

  104. Bill on August 13th, 2021 6:11 am

    So Tim Smith watched this video and liked it so much that he didn’t just approve it but he made it mandatory. Then when there’s pushback he apologizes for it.

    If you believe in something at least have the courage to stand by your convictions.

    Maybe Tim Smith should be one and done and next year we can get Keith Leonard at the top position.

  105. Bewildered on August 13th, 2021 6:06 am

    It’s all planned. They do not want a strong country where its citizens stick together. Divided we will fall and the population is easier to control.

  106. Elijah Bell on August 13th, 2021 6:05 am

    This action by the superintendent who wasn’t elected to be called to task. He was selected by a committee and approved, maybe he can be dismissed by the same. Could be a plus for not having to wait until the next election to make a move.

  107. StraightShooter on August 13th, 2021 6:05 am

    The voters voted not to elect a school superintendent anymore. This is a prime example of why. I was shocked when it passed with a large margin. You get what you vote for.
    The reason the achievement gap is so large is home life and support, not color.

  108. Jim on August 13th, 2021 5:51 am

    They should be showing videos explaining that the only government sanctioned discrimination in this country is affirmative action. It punishes and disadvantages a person based strictly on their skin color and gender. Not only is it morally wrong, but it also violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution.
    Not to mention that blaming a new generation of people for what prior generations of people did is gender and racially divisive and racial bigotry.

  109. bama on August 13th, 2021 4:54 am

    The biggest problem in our society right now is liberalism dividing our country, but if they want to improve the public schools, they need to abolish the teachers unions, bring back discipline, stop students from bringing cell phones to school, mandate uniforms, and lastly bring back prayer and God into our schools.

  110. Tc on August 13th, 2021 4:20 am

    Be a cold day in haites before I’m forced into watching trash like this..

  111. M in Bratt on August 13th, 2021 3:21 am

    Among the many questions that should be asked of Superintendent Smith are; What organization produced this garbage? and what was the cost to the taxpayers?

  112. M in Bratt on August 13th, 2021 2:54 am

    This sounds like a back door attempt to introduce Critical Race Theory in our schools. This Superintendent knew what he was doing when he adopted this training, and should be held fully accountable for it.

  113. Steve on August 13th, 2021 2:43 am

    He said he was sorry

  114. David S on August 13th, 2021 2:26 am

    I am a white male that attended the old Booker T. Washington high school on Texar drive from 1969 until 1973. I had many friendships during that time with students of other races, cultures and religions. I think that it is extremely sad that here we are over 50+ years since the civil rights movement and desegregation of the public schools, yet this type of divisive, controversial, destructive material is deemed necessary. I am very weary, disturbed, and offended by the current thought leaders in our society that are still emphasizing racism. They need to get over it and be thankful that we have the greatest freedoms, opportunities and justice on the planet!!

  115. MR REALITY on August 13th, 2021 1:58 am

    Smith should resign for this! This is UNREAL. Imagine if white people got together and made this video…CAN YOU IMAGINE….

  116. MR REALITY on August 13th, 2021 1:53 am

    This is the biggest racist film I have ever seen. Those involved SHOULD BE FIRED. WHo paid for this to be made, was it on our dime? IF so, i want our money back or people arrested for theft of county $$$.

  117. mnon on August 13th, 2021 1:41 am

    Yeeeah don’t start “accidentally” leaking CRT training. DeSantis already said it will not fly in Florida.





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