white privilege badge
The President of the Pasco Association of Educators in Washington state says the cries for returning to in-person learning are the product of "white privilege."

Scott Wilson was one of many who spoke at Tuesday night's meeting during the Pasco School District School Board. Wilson announced himself as the president of the union when he began speaking. He represents hundreds of teachers within the district.

Several times during his comments, Wilson compared the cries for in-person learning to the culture of white supremacy and white privilege.

"We must not ignore the culture of white supremacy and white privilege," Wilson said. "We have seen it in the 'Free-to-breathe, re-open everything' rodeos and rallies that received county commissioner's support. The same commissioner directs our health district."

Comment: In normal-speak; to want lockdowns lifted is also 'white privilege'.

Wilson pleaded with the school board to ignore the new recommendations from Dr. Amy Person, Health Officer for the Benton-Franklin Health District. Person has recently updated her guidance to local districts to resume in-person classes for middle and high school aged children. Wilson says it's not the right choice.

"You could choose a different way. You could choose to pause in-person learning. You could ask for a new path that benefits all, not some. You could have the discussion and vote. You could choose a different way. Students are not coming to school. They live in multi-generational homes and have lost family members. We speak of equity. We speak of care of all students and yet we listen to voices that say, 'Reopen everything. I'm free to breathe.' Supporting white privilege."

Wilson also dismissed claims that children are depressed because they cannot see their friends and are not able to compete in athletics.

"They complain their children are suicidal without school or sports. As a father, daily surviving the suicide of my son, I find these statements ignorant and another expression of white privilege," he said.

Comment: We think he's saying his own son at some point killed himself. Might that have something to do with living with him as a father?

Wilson adds, "No one wants remote learning but it is the right thing to do."

Wilson is the representative for many of the teachers in the Pasco School District but he is not employed by the district. This afternoon, the PSD released the following statement in regards to public comment at Tuesday night's meeting:
Pasco School District leadership has received several messages from members of the community regarding public comments made at the board meeting on January 12, 2021. Many people have expressed that they were offended by certain comments and have called on the district to take action.

The public comment portion of a school board meeting is a designated limited public forum in which members of the community may express their personal opinions on topics relevant to district business. The district does not endorse or condone any individual's viewpoint.

Pasco School District recognizes that the public comments have created controversy and are seen by some to be divisive. As a public school district in service to the entire community, our focus is to find a path forward that honors and respects the wide range of beliefs, opinions, and positions of our patrons.