Mountain Brook City Council plans to answer questions from the public about diversity training in schools

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MOUNTAIN BROOK, Alabama (WBRC) – Some Mountain Brook residents are expressing concerns about some burning issues, one of which relates to how diversity could be taught in schools.

The group plans to bring these concerns to a city council meeting on Monday evening.

The WBRC spoke with a founding board member of MB Listens, a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to make Mountain Brook more inclusive.

He said a small group of Mountain Brook residents were lobbying Mountain Brook schools to end a “No Place for Hate” program designed by the Anti-Defamation League.

Mountain Brook City Council will answer questions at a Monday night meeting in response to concerns arising from the June 14 city council meeting.

During this meeting, some Mountain Brook residents expressed concerns about ADL’s No Place for Hate program.

“In late spring, the Mountain Brook school system adopted a strategic plan that included goal number 4, which is a goal that honors diversity and is committed to putting in place structures that will ensure that everyone in the Mountain Brook school system is treated with dignity and respect. . “

Frank McPhillips of MB Listens said opponents of the program believe the ADL promotes views such as critical breed theory and other controversial topics.

McPhillips said there are certainly other organizations that offer diversity training, but he said ADL members are experts.

“They were accused of helping train Mountain Brook staff and teachers on hate issues and how to deal with hate. They are experts on it. Well, this small vocal minority has complained about this and at least temporarily… well temporarily or permanently, we don’t know yet, may cause the school board to sever its partnership with the Anti-Defamation League. I think that’s a mistake, ”McPhillips said.

A parent we spoke to who did not want to be identified said she was all for teaching diversity and inclusion in schools, but believes the ADL program is politically inclined .

“Where I am, the ADL has just become an organization which, even if I don’t want discrimination, I want equality for all, the ADL has become a political organization and I have read the program of 56 pages. So when I look at what they’ve posted, it’s incredibly political and it’s incredibly… there’s just a lot of red flags.

We received a statement from Mountain Brook Schools saying in part that the discord over ADL resources has become a major distraction, and that MBS has chosen to develop its own framework to achieve its goal of honoring diversity with participation. of students, parents, teachers and administrators of local schools.

You can read the entire Mountain Brook Schools statement below:

In 2017, Mountain Brook Schools (MBS) developed a strategic plan with four goals. One of the goals is to “develop structures to ensure that the school district honors diversity and that all associated with the school district are treated with respect”. We believe our community supports this laudable goal.

The MBS Diversity Committee made recommendations, including considering local and national organizations as potential resources; one of which was the Anti-Defamation League. ADL’s employee anti-bias training and No Place for HateⓇ program were initially selected because of their flexibility allowing for local customization.

Some members of our community have raised concerns about information on the ADL website that is not related to our training or anti-bias framework. The discord over resources has become a major distraction, and we believe we can more effectively continue our work independently of ADL.

MBS chose to develop its own framework to achieve our goal of honoring diversity with the participation of students, parents, teachers and administrators from local schools.

For more information and resources, visit our website: https://www.mtnbrook.k12.al.us/Page/21672

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.


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