Several weeks ago, I received this video of the “Whiteness Training” that prompted Manchester 21st Century Site Coordinator Daniel Concannon to announce his resignation in dramatic fashion. The person who supplied the video recorded it while watching the seminar. They also provided me with all the materials linked to below. I held back its release to see whether or not Mayor Joyce Craig or the Manchester School District would release it in response to my Right to Know Request. I was also concerned that if I released it, they might not release anything. They did and it will be released once we’ve had an opportunity to review the materials provided.
In releasing this information, I take issue with the district’s assertion that there is no district committee on “Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.” I have received information to the contrary and am attempting to confirm.
I also disagree with the district’s assertion that releasing the resume´ or other materials that would shed light on the qualifications of Thomas McGee to be the Director of the 21st Century Program is of “minimal interest” to the public and “does not outweigh the substantial privacy interest of the employee in the requested records.” Based on the job description provided by the district in response to our request and McGee’s resume´ as presented on LinkedIn, it appears that he did not meet the qualifications listed in the job posting.
This question was raised because McGee was appointed by Craig to the city’s Heritage Commission; something he noted in his LinkedIn resume. (See screen shot to the right.) Given their obvious connection and Craig’s stubborn refusal to facilitate, demand or otherwise encourage the release of this information, we are left to wonder whether or not “politics” played a role in McGee’s hiring as he has NO experience managing after school programs and was hired for a position that required five years of it.
In publishing screen shots of McGee’s LinkedIn profile, we note that he has since changed the wording on his LinkedIn page to eliminate his preferred pronouns and remove any reference to Mayor Craig appointing him to the Heritage Commission. Wonder why…
In presenting this specific “whiteness training” material, we share the district’s direct response to the inquiry about it:
As noted in the attached document, the training titled “What is White Privilege, Anyway?” is freely available online and was offered to all instructional staff as optional professional development.
That being the case, it begs the question of why it took the mayor, district, school board, etc…from June 29th, when it was first requested, to August 5th, to release it? The content answers that question rather clearly.
Below the video is a link to every document you will see in the presentation, including the presentation slides themselves. We have also linked to every attempt made to obtain these materials and any subsequent news stories or editorials about them.
Links to requests for this information and media stories on the topic.
Some interesting screen shots from the seminar “Chat” box. Click to enlarge any shot.