Help! Black teacher racist white kindergarten!!!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Bksgirl1, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Bksgirl1

    Bksgirl1 New Member

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    Sep 23, 2012

    Hi I have taught for 20 years everything from K-12. I now teach dance, drama, 4 math and visual arts. In 1 of my k classes I have a white child who bursts into tears, putting on a drama every time I come into their room. Supposedly she's scared of me being black and my black long straight hair. I am fairly light skinned and modeled in my younger years and have only had 1 small racism issue in my life period at age 5. They now have her mom coming to sit and that's still not helping. Nobody knows what to do. I just take the class and leave for my room as she takes up her teacher's prep time w this bawling. They want to get her a black doll at home, movies etc and her parents are embarrassed and concerned I think they are racists which they say they aren't and have no idea where this is coming from. I spoke to my dad, who's a dentist, and he said do not have anything to do w this harassment or trying to teach white children to love blacks- it's not my job. What do I do? I'm tired of this harassment .
     
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  3. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    Sep 23, 2012

    I am really sorry that this is happening. I am not involved in the situation and it is hard to know exactly what is going on. I am also white, so I know my experiences growing up is different than yours. I also want to let you know that with such a sensitive topic, I hope I can help in a way that doesnt' stir up mixed emotions.

    In my opinion, I don't think the kindergartener is being racist. She may not have had many experiences with those who are of different cultures or ethnicity. She may truly not understand. I find it hard to believe that a 5 year old is crying and acting out because she thinks she is more superior than you because she is white and you are black.

    You said that the parents are embarrassed and don't know why this has happened but you don't believe them. Is there any reason to lead you to this belief? Have you heard otherwise or is it just what you feel? Sometimes kids react in ways that we don't understand. IF the parents are lying, it is obvious the child is just picking up what they believe and it is important that she be shown how this is not okay.

    I would encourage you to stay patient with this situation. While I can't say that I know how you feel in regards to this type of issue, I can say that it is a tough situation and I hope it works out for you and for the little girl.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2012

    I am sorry that you are dealing with this. I agree with 1-yr in that, the little girl probably has not had too many experiences with people of a different cultural/ethnic background. I do not believe that her crying is a reaction that someone who thought they were better than another person would have.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Sep 23, 2012

    Those are good points, 1st-yr. Young children are often frightened by things or people they aren't familiar with. I had a cousin who was terrified of anyone with a beard. He would also bust into uncontrollable crying when he saw one. So I'm cautiously hopeful it is something like that rather than actual feelings of racism, but it's hard to say without knowing more about the situation.

    Bksgirl - Regardless of WHY the child is reacting this way, I know it must be painful and distressing for you. I hope things improve and the little girl loses her fear once she gets to know you better. It sounds like the parents are also distressed by the behavior and seem supportive of finding a solution. You said they are racist, but didn't really give an example of things they said or did to make you feel that way. I'm not doubting you, since you are the one that heard the tone of their words and saw the non-verbal clues as well, but at least they do seem willing to work with you on the situation.

    I truly hope this improves for you. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be in your situation. :hugs:
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Sep 23, 2012

    This sounds terribly painful. I have to agree that there is a good chance that it is a little girl who just sees something different and it scares her. I had a student a few years ago absolutely petrified by a grandparent that picked up because he had a lot of facial hair. She just hadn;t seen anyone with hair on their face like this and it was scary. I am not sure why you feel like the parents are lying, it may be a feeling you get in person, but I think I would take them at their word and try to move forward. The idea of having multicultural dolls, movies, and books is a good one. I would expose her at home and at school as much as possible, but without that being the focus of the lesson, honestly that should already be the norm at school. Also, I'm not sure where the harrassment comes in, if that is her reaction, it isn't exactly harrassment, hurtful as it is. Lastly, I kind of do think it is your job. It is the job of a school as a whole and of every adult in the building to teach acceptance in all forms, even if they are hearing hate at home. If you have time in your day, could you step in to the room once in a while, or give the lesson in the classroom while the teacher preps elsewhere? What does the teacher suggest?
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 23, 2012

    It might not have anything to do with the color of your skin...my little sister was born with a medical condition that made it necessary for her to spend the first month of her life in the hospital..then she had several long term stays in the hospital. We had a good friend that would visit...he was a big guy--6 foot 8. She would scream bloody murder when he came. He tried everything to get her to calm down. He brought her gifts, candy, tried to read to her...nothing worked. One night he stayed for dinner. He took off his ball cap to sit at the table. Her whole attitude changed. By the time dinner was over, she was in his lap. My parents started watching. It was any large man that wore a cap or hat...stocking caps where the worst. After a surgery when she was three, the nurse came to get my mom. They couldn't calm her down. It turned out that the doctor (who she had known since birth) scared her because of the cap on his head. After he removed it she calmed down. She was able to explain that he scared her because he hurt her...her surgeries (she had had six or so since birth) were painful. My parents realized that anyone that wore the hats reminded her of the surgeries. She is 30 and can't stand to be around a man with a stocking cap on.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2012

    It's not harassment. It's a young child with anxiety and somewhat of a parenting problem. Teach the kids who come to your class...don't worry about the crying kid left behind. She'll come around or she won't...it's really not your problem.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2012

    Just curious-- how do you know that's what she's afraid of?
     
  10. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Sep 23, 2012

    I was scared to death of men with mustaches until I was about 7. My uncle had to shave his, because I would hyperventilate when he came in the room. As the others have asked, are you sure it's the color of your skin? Has she stated this is the case?
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 23, 2012

    Aw, I hate this for you. :(

    I was afraid when I first met a black person, and I was older than your student. My parents are not racist. And anyone here knows ai would say if they were. I think the parents would be wise to buy a black doll, watch a fun movie with black characters, and so forth. Maybe in time...
     
  12. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Sep 26, 2012

    She might have started out being scared, but she may now be doing it for attention. Mom sits with her, she gets to take up her teacher's individual time, etc. I find it hard to believe that she never sees African-Americans outside of school.
     

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