Kansas education leader apologizes for Native American comments

After a month-long suspension, Education Commissioner Randy Watson briefly apologized for derogatory comments about Native Americans in the state at the monthly meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday.

State Education Commissioner Randy Watson acknowledged that he had failed Native American students by sharing an offensive anecdote from his childhood.

Speaking publicly for the first time since returning from suspension, Watson shared photos and stories from when he began teaching more than 40 years ago. She said that at the time she had tried to serve “under the radar” children, but that he failed to do so in February when she made derogatory comments about Native American students.

“I really let some people down and hurt others with some things that I said about an event a long time ago while I was reflecting,” Watson said at the Kansas State Board of Education meeting on Tuesday.

Plus:How can schools improve the education of Native Americans? Start by teaching it, advocates say.

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