A Minnesota high school vice principal is facing backlash from students and parents after a circulated email showed her telling staff to use their ‘right and white privilege’ to defend the school’s decision to scrap traditional homecoming titles.
In an email to colleagues, Laura Wagner mentioned that she and another staff member were discussing how to address “keyboard warriors” who are concerned about the school’s decision to remove titles from ” homecoming king and queen” in favor of a genderless “royalty” title.
I chatted with Tiffany A little dreading homecoming and wanted to talk a bit about what our presence at the parade and coronation looks like as we transition to royalty instead of a king and queen .
As usual, we have keyboard warriors worrying Tiffany for the welfare of the students. I think her concerns are valid and I want to make sure we show up for her and our students.
It would be a good time to use your right and white privilege to reassure and support students and staff to do what they believe is right for our school community. [Emphasis Added]
The email was circulated among students and parents, leading about 100 students to walk out of class on Wednesday to protest Wagner’s controversial remarks, Alpha News reported.
“I’m in school to learn, not to have political opinions,” an outraged student told the Minnesota-based outlet. “You are only allowed to say what you think if you agree with the administration.”
One parent criticized the school’s double standards and noted that the school has a history of imposing a “dividing agenda,” Fox News reported. Parents said:
The Farmington, Minnesota School District preaches inclusiveness and non-discriminatory actions to staff and students. As a parent, it is offensive and appalling to see that behind closed doors they feel like they can use a certain amount of discriminatory verbiage to advance an agenda that parents, students and the community are unaware of.
“The school has continually pushed a random divisive and exclusive agenda for students that was exposed last year, and it’s just another faction of the school’s silent procedural dissent,” they wrote. they added.
The school district released a statement saying it was “aware” of Wagner’s email which is “now circulating.”
“Farmington High School is providing various spaces and counseling staff to support learners in dealing with these recent events,” Superintendent Jason Berg’s statement continued. “Please be aware that this personnel issue is being addressed and therefore there is no further information we can share.”
According to Alpha News, Wagner was one of 162 Minnesota principals to sign the “Good Trouble” pledge which “aims to ‘decenter whiteness’ in school structures.”
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.