Video about race in America shown to Seminole middle school students upsets parents

Pinellas County

SEMINOLE, Fla. (WFLA) – Some parents in Pinellas County are upset after students in a science class at Seminole Middle School were recently shown a four-minute video about race in America.

The video, produced by a self-proclaimed progressive media company called act.tv, breaks down the differences between Black and white people.

But for one father, whose kids are in the class, it went too far.

“What they felt as they watched it is they should be ashamed that they are white and feel guilty, almost,” the man, who did not want to be identified, said. “And they did feel guilt as they watched the video.”

That father is among a handful of parents who reached out to the principal to voice their displeasure.

“Do you think this is a topic they can fully grasp?” reporter Ryan Hughes asked the parent.

“Absolutely not,” the father said.

He explained that the students were required to take a test on implicit bias after watching the video.

“Just like the Holocaust, you teach it at various ages to their developmental level,” said Sharon Stern, a former school psychologist with more than two decades of experience working with kids. “They’re never too young, you just adapt to it.”

Stern said she welcomes the topic of race in classrooms, especially at the middle school level.

“If their family is watching the news at all, it’s there. So to pretend it’s not there is not smart,” Stern said.

8 On Your Side obtained the following statement from Pinellas County Schools:

“The consensus was the teacher used poor judgment, and while her intention may have been good, the video was not age-appropriate or sanctioned by the district. The teacher has been counseled by the principal. Principal Michael Moss reached out to half a dozen parents who contacted him with concerns.”

On social media, parents lashed out at the decision to show the video, while others agreed with the teacher’s intent on showing it.

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