SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The event at a Bay Area school initially described in an email from a district official as a “white student support circle” has been canceled.
According to emails shared with KRON4, the organizer of the event, Dr. Cheryl Wozniak, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services at Piedmont Unified School District, issued an apology to the community after the initial email sparked backlash.
Dr. Wozniak titled the follow-up email “Apology and Clarification for Support Circles.”
It read in part, “the intent was and is to offer support, particularly to our African American, Indigenous, and students of color who are most directly impacted by police violence.”
“Our intention in providing a separate meeting space with white students is to teach what it means to be an ally. It was not to provide a space to process because the institutions that are controlled and designed by white people are the causing harm.”
The TikTok video posted by @sueyd_ showed a screenshot of what appears to be an email from district staff to students informing them of a “White Student Support Circle” on April 29 “to support White students who would like to discuss how the trial, verdict, and experiences related to the George Floyd murder are impacting you.”
A day after the email went viral on TikTok, Superintendent Randall Booker released a statement calling it “a poor choice of words in the subject line.”
“A poor choice of words in the subject line of the invitation to White students led to the perception that White students needed the same kind of “support” as our BIPOC students. Students of all racial backgrounds rightfully pushed back on that idea. We agree, and we want to affirm in the strongest terms that our commitment is to give all students a place to express their feelings and to learn how to engage in important issues.”
You can read the full statement from Superintendent Booker in response here.