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LPSS receives backlash after controversial in-service

LPSS Superintendent Trosclair sends out apology
Posted at 8:24 PM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 22:21:07-04

LAFAYETTE, L.a. — Some teachers for the Lafayette Parish School System are upset after a routine in-service training Monday, saying some of the content shown at the presentation was explicit — even gory.

KATC spoke with a couple of these teachers, who wished to remain anonymous. They said this in-service training was unlike anything they had ever experienced in their more than 30 years of teaching.

The teachers told KATC that the in-service was split into two sessions — both held at the Heymann Center and streamed live on Zoom. The sessions addressed the topic of school shootings and how youth culture, like violent video games and mainstream music, can affect developing minds.

They said, however, they and their colleagues were alarmed and uncomfortable when the presentations featured explicit content from the popular video game Grand Theft Auto V, along with a graphic video of previous school shootings, and a detailed phone interview with Santana High School shooter Charles Andrew Williams, who is currently serving time for killing two and injuring 13 back in 2001 at just 15 years old.

A source close to the presentation spoke with us and later asked to retract his interview, but he said the safety of students is his priority and if some were uncomfortable, they had the chance to leave.

The anonymous teachers said they feel they didn't get that opportunity, as their bosses told them to stay for the event's duration. One of the teachers stated that she didn't hear the presenter's trigger warning at the beginning of the Zoom due to issues with the call's audio.

They both said that either way, if LPSS wants to prioritize the safety of students, this is not the way to do it, noting outdated security measures at various area schools needing improvements that could've been invested in, as opposed to paying for a guest speaker.

Superintendent Irma Trosclair sent out a written apology to those offended, stating that once the administration saw the graphic material in the first session, it was removed for the next. Trosclair also wrote in the statement that the school board will take this feedback into consideration when scheduling future in-services.

KATC reached out to LPSS for a public records request detailing these in-services and how much they cost, but have yet to receive those records.

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