Public School Principal Offers Racially Segregated Spaces For Staff And Students Of Color To Process Rittenhouse Verdict

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Chrissy Clark Contributor
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The principal at Newton North High School in Massachusetts said the school would offer racially segregated spaces for staff and students of color to process the jury verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse self-defense trial, according to emails obtained by Parents Defending Education.

Principal Henry Turner dubbed the Rittenhouse case “divisive” and said it “will be seen as a blow, particularly to black and brown people who are regularly reminded that their bodies are treated as less than others,” according to emails sent on Nov. 19.

Turner promised to host “spaces for students and staff of color” to help process the outcome of the trial. The principal went on to say that the decision “shows the disparity of our legal system.”

“If Kyle Rittenhouse were black, the outcome would be significantly different,” the email reads.

Similarly, leadership at the University of Michigan’s Medical School issued an email to students claiming that Rittenhouse may have been convicted of homicide if he was not white.

Turner posted portions of his email to his personal blog, which shares information on “social justice leadership” with other educators. His blog post on responding to national events in school specifically called for race-based “affinity groups.”

“Provide space for affinity groups for students and staff of color,” the post reads. “This is particularly important in majority-white schools. Allow for people of color time to be together. Make sure students are with an adult that they trust and want to be there.”

Both Turner’s email and blog post said that ignoring the verdict in schools would be “normalizing the event” and said that it’s “ok [sic] to name racism.” Turner also said that the school must “ensure the psychological and emotional safety” of all staff and students.

“There is a long history of acquittals such as this when white people get off for murdering black people. To ignore racism in these situations just empowers the system,” Turner said.

Rittenhouse was prosecuted for the deaths and shooting of three white men.

Any student that questions why the district is “making a big deal about this” should be referred to the district’s statement on racial equity, according to Turner’s email to faculty.

The blog post also called for adults, including counselors, to take space as needed to process the verdict. (RELATED: University Forced To Apologize After Telling Students Jacob Blake Died, Continues To Offer Safe Spaces To ‘Process Rittenhouse Verdict’)

“We need to take care of the adults. This event impacts all staff,” Turner said. “We also sometimes offer our counselors as a resource for students. Let’s make sure our counselors have the space to attend to their needs.”

The Daily Caller asked Turner whether he stood by his comments that race played a role in the Rittenhouse verdict after sharing the less publicized self-defense case in Florida where a black man was acquitted after shooting police. The principal did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Newton Public School District did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.