Consultant says Ardrey Kell HS needs more cultural training

How to handle racial slurs by students

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant believes there should be some training done immediately at Ardrey Kell High School. Dr. Deborah Walker has been a consultant for about 30 years. She saw the racially insensitive tweet an Ardrey Kell HS student made against West Charlotte High School. The post mentioned West Charlotte High School was in the hood and used the "N" word to describe the students.

"I'm really sad about this," Consultant Dr. Deborah Walker said. "It's painful."

Walker believes once training happens it should be constant. She believes people are taught this type of behavior. She is not taken aback this happened.

“Racism and sexism and other -isms are in the DNA foundation of our country,” Walker said. “And so to assume that it’s going to be eradicated if we don’t effectively deal with it, I think is in many ways naive so I am not surprised.”

CMS agrees more training needs to happen with students. CMS' Chief Communications Officer Tracy Russ sent this message of recommended strategies.

"A mix of curriculum offerings, student-led programs, teacher and staff trainings, social/emotional learning efforts and supports, extra-curricular programs, community partnerships and BOE policies and other efforts undergird CMS commitments to diversity and inclusion."

Walker believes the racial training will be helpful and adds people must put in the work if we want to see change.

"If folks can figure out why it's in their own best interest to gain the knowledge and skills and gain the tools to recognize understand and appreciate differences," Walker said. "Then they have skin in the game, and that's the only way you can make a difference made - and mind you, you're not going to get everybody but let's go with the people who are willing to go."

West Charlotte High School says it is not rattled about the comments. Employees say they spent the day rallying behind the men’s basketball team and their accomplishments. The school also says love, positivity and support was their reaction.

Walker believes a lesson can be learned from this, especially from the student who made the post.

“If the goal is learning,” Walker said. “Then it’s not helpful to attack shame and blame him - rather for him to acknowledge he did make a mistake and that he’s going to learn from it is the outcome I would desire.”

The student who made the post remains suspended.

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