Tarsha Clarke, a teacher at Western Rockingham Middle School in North Carolina, is accused of forcing several students to stand up and apologize for their “white privilege” during class.
American Lens first reported the allegations which surfaced on May 8 at a meeting of the Rockingham County School Board. Most of the public comments reportedly were in opposition to ongoing “equity training” in the district.
During the meeting, a woman named Farren Wilkinson addressed the board with the allegations against Clarke. Text of her opening comments can be found below:
“I just want to share light on a situation that happened at Western Rockingham Middle School where a teacher caused some of her students to stand up and apologize to other students based on their inequal opportunities of education. So I would like to know how our schools can allow an educator to humiliate, bully and degrade students. This is not a matter of race but a matter of a teacher using fear and the embarrassment of children to satisfy her own personal anger or beliefs.”
There is also video of Wilkinson’s full statement.
Clarke is a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher at the school, according to several parents who spoke with American Lens. One parent told the outlet the incident was even more specific than Wilkinson’s account.
According to that parent, Clarke forced her white students to stand in front of the class and apologize to the minority students for their, “white privilege.”
When asked to comment, Principal of Western Rockingham Middle School Stephanie Wray indicated that no such incident occurred.
“In regard to your additional requests, I can not speak on any individual, however any allegations brought to our attention are investigated thoroughly and proper disciplinary action is taken if needed. Again, I can not speak regarding specific individuals due to personnel law, however the particular incident you asked about was unfounded to happen at our school,” wrote Wray.
Wray confirmed that Clarke is still employed at the school.
Rockingham County School District
Rockingham County Schools is a public school district in Rockingham County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It includes 25 schools and a staff of 2,000.
The Rockingham County Schools was established 1993.