Wendell Tabb is the world-famous drama teacher at Hillside High School in Durham. He was supposed to retire at the of this school yet, he is postponing his retirement due do several issues with the Durham Public School System.
Tabb did an interview with the Independent Weekly. In the interview, Tabb said that the school system made him work overtime without getting paid. Plus, they allowed other schools to have assistants in their drama department that they wouldn’t allow in Hillside’s drama department. In 2017, he filed a lawsuit (which went to mediation on August 15th) alleges that in addition to serving as director of Hillside’s drama department, Tabb also functioned as an unofficial, unpaid technical director, with a workload that included hanging lights, creating sound designs, and building sets. WOW, that’s a lot! While Tabb was doing all of this, other high school theater departments at Riverside, Jordan, and Durham School of the Arts (DSA) have all had technical directors since the 2005–06 school year! And yes, the directors of the other drama departments are white. Hillside’s student population is predominately African American.
Hillside is one of the only predominately African American high schools left in the state. During the 2016-2017 school year, Hillside was about 79% African American while Jordan was 41%, Riverside was 44% and DSA was 36%. DSA is a magnet school.
The community is getting more involved with trying to fix the corruption. There is a school board meeting Thursday, August 22nd from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM at the DPS building, 511 Cleveland St Durham, NC. If you would like to speak at the meeting, you have to sign up between 5:30PM and 6:00PM.