How often do you get accused of racism?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, May 5, 2014.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    So I thought last year was just a new teacher thing, and bad luck when a guardian accused me of racism.

    Well it's happening again this year with another African American student. If I keep these student accountable for their actions, it's not me just doing my job, it's me being racist apparently. I myself am a number of minorities, but that doesn't seem to matter.

    Do you have issues with this at your school?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have never been accused, but I have worked with racists. We had some staff members (not teachers) in one school who encouraged the children to misbehave in the classes of teachers who were not African American because we weren't the right color.
     
  4. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I've only been accused of racism on this forum when I've expressed viewpoints some members didn't like or agree with.

    Someone finally posted a test to help show people how they may be racist without realizing it. When I scored a perfect "Neutral" on the test (indicating I was NOT racist at all), a couple of members declared the test wasn't accurate and didn't really mean anything.

    However, I'm sure the responses would have been completely opposite if my score had been different. Then I expect the tone of the comments would have been more along the line of "The test doesn't lie".

    In my classrooms, schools and in life....I've never been accused of racism.

    Sorry you're having to deal with that Peregrin. It puts you in a "no-win" situation with those parents.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I get accused about once or twice a year. At first it bothered me but now it doesn't. I know I'm not and I know that's a fallback line for many students and their parents so I shrug it off.

    I've also been fortunate (???) in that any time I've had a troublesome student of a different race than I am, there's always been a worse-behaving student in the same class that is of the same race as me. Hard to claim racism when someone else is getting in trouble more often!
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    May 5, 2014

    Never
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I just don't understand their train of thought. Everyone in the class is held accountable to the same rules. The parent even comes in and says they have had similar problems at every other school they've been to, but the conclusion is that I'm picking on him because of his race?

    Last year when this happened, the guardian believed that her kid could do no wrong, and it wasn't until he copied his entire essay from Wikipedia and I sent her the evidence that she finally began to believe me.

    Not to mention that my two best students are of the same race as he is, and they're flourishing in my class.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Interesting timing- my team and I are dealing with a huge racism accusation right now. The student has an IEP and has services from me, OT, and speech. He has made progress academically, but really struggles with behavior. I suspect that he has ADHD because he seems to be like a student who literally can't control some of it, especially the non-stop motion. On the other hand though, he's also extremely defiant with adults at times and has been violent with other students before. The first time we've seen mom was at the spring conferences a few weeks ago. She was questioning some office referrals and basically said that her child acts that way because we as his teachers "scream at him" and "constantly call him out." Then she played the race card and said that it was because he was one of the only black students in the school. She ended up storming out of the conference declaring that she wasn't going to talk to a "bunch of racists" anymore, and then went and screamed at the principal. We at least felt fortunate that she lumped the bunch of us together rather than just calling one person out. Unfortunately, the student witnessed all that and his behavior has gotten a hundred times worse because he literally sat there and watched his mom say that nothing was his fault, he did nothing wrong at school, and any consequence he got was the teacher's fault. Last week the student had some HUGE issues and ended up being suspended. He spent about half the day in the office because mom wouldn't come pick him up. Now she won't come in for the "re-entry" meeting and is claiming that she's going to go to the school board because we "denied him his rights" and "segregated him" by taking him out of the classroom and putting him in the office. It does make me a little nervous, but my more experienced teammates are saying not to worry about it. The poor classroom teacher was beside herself because she got accused of racism last year (the parent said it was because she didn't teach black history month) and took it REALLY hard, and now it's happened again this year. The ironic part is that the student has two brothers at the school who are model students as far as behavior goes and have never had any issues. Why would be "racist" against only one of the three brothers?
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

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    Because it is so much easier to find blame than to admit any fault. Racism does exist in some schools. I was a victim of it and 25 years later my teacher's best friend was racist towards my own child. So I know first hand what it looks like in a classroom. I also know how easy it is to scream racism when the only other option is to admit a child might not be perfectly behaved. Once upon a time such claims might have made a difference. Now - not so much.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2014

    Never
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    My second year teaching there was a false accusation filed against me by one of my EL students. He claimed I said something that I never did. His whole story fell about when he accused one of his other teachers, who herself was Mexican, of saying the exact same words.

    Thankfully, none since.
     
  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    About once a year. It's never made in any serious forum- it's always a student who's in the middle of being removed from security for acting out, being given a 0 for cheating, etc. It's always used as a defense mechanism as part of their ranting and every time, the rest of my class bursts out in laughter. My classes are 85-90% African-American; if I really did punish students just for being so, I'd be writing referrals all day. :p
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

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    I should add that only three times in my career did a parent actually say I was racist. Once it was a mother of my own race saying I was being racist against another race. The entire race, not just a specific person. She wanted me to say "African American" instead of "black" when I was talking about genetics. That especially wasn't going to happen because one of the two black kids in the class was actually British. The other two times I wasn't called racist until after I showed evidence of the students cheating in my class. Up until then I was just a teacher who had it out for the kids. Once the photocopies came out I was "racist."
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I guess I was never directly called racist to my face either time. Once we met in person things were as pleasant as pie, but before that happened, they did tell my principal they thought I was being racist.

    Waterfall: Exactly. I have tons of other kids of the same race who follow the rules and are some of my best and favorite students. I hate to point that out because I just think of them all as kids. I'm sorry you have to go through all of that.

    I don't care as much when a student calls out racism, because they know, I know, and the rest of the class knows it's BS. But when the parent backs it up and does the same thing before getting to know the facts, that to me is just teaching students to blame their problems on race issues when it's their responsibility.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I've been involved in one very uncomfortable situation where was race was made a big issue, although I don't think they actually accused me of being racist. I am still bothered by how the parents behaved without being asked to leave campus and have police called for security.
     
  16. GTB4GT

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    I teach in an area where I share the same culture/ethnicity/race with well over 98+ % of the population. Racial tension is nonexistent and I don't have to deal with these issues (i.e. being called a "racist"). I have, in my past, lived in areas that were very diverse. I have enjoyed diversity but, at the end of the day, much prefer the lack of socioeconomic and racial tensions in my present area of residence. Of course I do respect the wishes of those who see things differently than I do.
     
  17. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    It's ironic you brought this up.

    In the beginning of the year, I had a white student tell his mom that I was racist against white people. And I'm white, married to a white man, and have three white children.


    I suppose the only thing crazier would be if someone called a blind person racist...

    I think the mom was shocked to see I was white...

    What happened is the boy didn't go to the bathroom while a black student with a documented medical problem was allowed to, which of course was none of the boy's business.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I teach in a diverse school...high Asian population, Latino,Israeli, Indian, in addition to Caucasian. I did have a parent ask a few years ago why his son was the 'only white boy' in my class and I actually had to think about it as I hadn't noticed....I've never had the race card pulled on me.
     
  19. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I had a student call me a racist for giving him a behavior mark on the school wide behavior plan for not completing his homework. The white girl and Hispanic boy who also got marks for no homework that day did not call me a racist.....probably because race had nothing to do with the consequence.
     
  20. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    In school? Never.

    But when I worked at a shoe store this black lady came in and accused me of being a racist. I was the only one working on the floor at the time and I suppose I wasn't giving her the same attention as the other white ladies in the store. I was too young at the time (18 or 19) to know how to respond. It was a ridiculous accusation, and I hope she realized that as she spoke to the current manager (a black lady) and the head manager (a black lady) and the assistant manager (a black lady) of the store.

    So yeah, never in school. But I honestly think I will have to face it once every few years when I move back to the USA.
     
  21. teach1

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    I've never been accused. But, in university one of the cooperating teachers I was placed with was racist, among other things :( Always broke my heart, but I didn't have enough evidence to report it.
     
  22. TnKinder

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    No

    I've never been accused of being racist, but I have experienced it. During my second year teaching, a parent was not too happy to see that I was black. So he went to the P and said "I don't want my son in that N*****'s class". He didn't see that I was in the main office and tha the P's adjoining door was open. This school was pretty diverse with many races and ethnicities represented. That was the only parent to complain about me teaching their child.
     
  23. chemnerd19

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    :eek:hmy:

    That's horrid! I'm so sorry that happened to you.
     
  24. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jeez! That's ridiculous. I'm sorry you had to experience that. :hugs:

    HeartDrama: Yeah. I understand why kids do that. They're not fully mature yet, but you would expect parents to be a bit more mature than their students. They're doing it for the same reasons kids do it, to avoid responsibility. I guess my expectations for some parents are a bit too high. From what my P told me, this mom isn't exactly mother-of-the-year material, which I had already suspected.
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Never.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Once--and I have never been as angry with a student as I was that day (and I lost most of my respect for the principal who sent him back to class almost immediately). I was called out as racist because I asked the student to sit down and get to work.
     
  27. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I teach in the South where racial tensions can often be high, but I haven't ever been accused of racism. Having said that, I think that those of us who can answer "never" might just be more lucky than anything else. I don't think it's necessarily an indication of your behavior or treatment of kids if you *have* been accused.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Twice.
     
  29. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I have once for sure and one other time sorta just by being a teacher in the district.
    A few years ago I had a parent who told my principal that I was racist because I gave out my phone number to all the white mothers in my class and not her or the other Hispanic parents. I don't give my number out to any of them. If they do have it, its because we are friends outside of the classroom. Which is like two parents! The other time was with a set of guardians that were horrible anyway. Blamed everything and everyone for their child's issues. Said we didn't do enough to help teach the child. This is the same child that wan't enrolled in school for over two months before I got him and missed many others days the previous year. ( Very long story not getting into it here) Parents never accused me per say, but it was brought up in an argument against the district.
     
  30. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I think I was one of the people who accused you of racism. I said this because you did not acknowledge white privilege, which I do believe is racist.
     
  31. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Once by a para. When the P asked her how I was racist, she couldn't come up with an answer. Upon reflection she decided that I wasn't racist.
     
  32. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    You're entitled to your opinion. Remember, though, that it is just that - an opinion or perception, which is not the same as fact.

    You're welcome to feel or believe something is racist, but that doesn't make it fact, it just makes it your perception of the situation. Nothing more. Nothing less.
     
  33. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ICAM.
     
  34. yellowdaisies

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    My coworker (who is a minority) had this happen last year by a parent because her student (a different minority than my coworker) was having a lot of behavior/discipline issues. I guess it was easier to accuse the teacher of racism than accept that the student could be misbehaving...

    I teach at a school where all of my students are different races than I am (I'm white), so I'm grateful it's never happened to me.
     
  35. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    What does ICAM mean?
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I couldn't agree more...I had to look it up.
     
  37. underthesun

    underthesun Rookie

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    :lol: I had to look it up, too!
     
  38. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I have no particular reason to think you are racist, I don't know the topic you're referring to, and I don't see any particular reason to look it up.

    But... posting the results of an online test and saying, "See, this proves I'm not racist," probably won't ever accomplish anything positive for you (or anyone), for reasons which I really hope are obvious.
     
  39. Cerek

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    You're right that the results of an online test aren't going to prove I'm not racist. My actions, thoughts, words and deeds in real life determine that, but that isn't able to be seen here.

    As you can see, some made their judgment based on one issue, or rather their perception of that issue, and continue to do so. That's fine. They don't really know me and I don't know them, so the fact they have that perception doesn't affect me one way or the other. Their perception is wrong (regarding my being racist), but there is no way for me to "prove" that, and even if I did, I doubt they would concede their perception may be wrong.

    I wasn't the one who posted the test. I wasn't the first to take it nor the first to post my results. When I posted the results, I did NOT say "See, that proves I'm not really racist." I simply posted that I had gotten a score that was completely neutral according to the test results.

    It was the others who immediately said "That doesn't prove anything". So I took the test that was supposed to "prove" we all have some subconscious levels of racism, but when the test indicated I did not, the results were arbitrarily dismissed by some because it didn't fit their established perception.
     
  40. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I've never been called a racist. Every year when we cover Black History month, a couple of African American students start complaining that they're offended and this whole thing is racist, but it's always about them just complaining and pulling the race card. I always quickly put that fire out.
    For the past 2+ years most of my students were non-white, and I'm white, but I guess since I'm European, students put me in a different category. I think a lot of times people quickly jump to the conclusion that a White American teacher (or person in general) is racist.
     
  41. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    Many, many times

    I get accused way more times than I would like to admit, even my P has implied it. It seems holding all students, even black students, to the same standards as everyone else is racist.

    One time, a student told me something I had to report to CPS. The parent went crazy and came into the school screaming that I was a racist.

    Another time, a student made the complaint that I was racist but, despite numerous meetings with the counselor, psychologist, principal, etc, was not able to pinpoint what made me racist other than I seem to like another student who happens to be white more than her. I actually had this twice, but the second time was ridiculous because she was also saying the school was racist for assigning her a bottom locker.

    2 years ago at open house, a black parent was talking to me. Then, she got a phone call and said she had to take it because she is a hairdresser. While she was on the phone, an asian family walked in and I started talking to them. This apparently offended her greatly and she said I snubbed her. This one made me really mad because it was so ridiculous -- she was the one being rude by taking a phone call.

    Another time, my principal told me that I don't connect with black kids. He told me my classes are filled with white kids since those are the only kids who like me (I teach an elective). I literally opened up my rosters right there and showed him less than 20% of my students are white.
     

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