Racist comments by staff

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Proud2BATeacher, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 11, 2007

    I have a friend who is afraid to go to school tomorrow. She is african american and works in a predominately white school (about 90%). This week she had a teacher tell her that she does not think that the black and white races should mix because blacks are a different species and are savages. Today at her staff meeting the adminstration told them that they should get ready to be a title 1 school because "they are coming". When she saw her staff members voicing agreement with this comment, she said she hyad enough and stood up and called the comment and people agreeing with it "racist".

    Unfortunately we don't have unions and she is worried about the ramifications of her comments. I wasn't sure what to tell her because I am also new to the county (well...I am also new to the country). Any suggestions?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    How terrifying to think that this is still happening in our country.

    I would do nothing at all I think. The ball is in their court. Let them deal with her comment. Go to work and teach as usual.
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 11, 2007

    What a horrible situation. So, without a union to fight for her, is she planning on grinning & bearing any other future racist remarks or does she want to quit? She should definitely document everything that was said & bring it to talk over with whoever is higher up than the administration who said it, who should be the person at the district building in charge of certificated personnel. I'm assuming the principal or vice principal said it. What was said by the staff definitely creates a hostile work environment.

    But, if she plans on suing or something to that effect, even if she won, would she really want to remain working there day after day? It's too bad that it happened, but it seems like no matter what decision she makes, she will be miserable, unless she leaves completely.

    Keep us posted on what happens.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Her son goes to middle school across the street from the school, so she would really like to stay there for another year. So she will grin and bear it and hopefully the other staff will know now that she will confront them when they choose to talk inappropriately in front of her. She has been at this school for over 5 years and has heard comments before but nothing so blatant as this. She has had many parents request for their child not to be placed in her classroom or to be removed from her classroom.

    The Title 1 comment is very common in our county. They pretty well look at the amount of students on free and reduced lunch and the amount of african americans to predict "if and when" a school will become Title 1.

    I will tell her to document everything.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 11, 2007

    The title one comment, while being racist, was probably not intended as that by the person making the comment. They probably thought of it as a statistic logical conclusion. Being apathetic about it might have been because it comes with extra responsibilities (legally). Who knows the intent without asking or the personality of the party who spoke it. A lot of discriminatory comments are made in ignorance (you are talking to someone who has recieved a lot of them). I tend to see it as a moment to educate. It's the people that KNOW (because they've demonstrated the knowledge or I've educated them) and who still choose to continue to say that kind of thing that makes me angry.

    The other story about the savages etc has some DEEP prejudice. That I get mad that we still have it. The problem is, anger and frustration I can live with but that would scare me!
     
  7. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I have never been in a situation like this one, so I can't say what is best for her, but I can't imagine wanting to stay working somewhere were someone would call people of my race "savages." I am not african american, but reading about someone saying that to her really angered me. It makes me SICK to think that there are people who think that way. While I do agree that the Title I comment was probably not made intentionally to upset her, it still shows some extreme prejudice and to think that a person that is in charge of a school thinks that way makes me furious.
     
  8. AngelHead

    AngelHead Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2007

    I'd tell her to get a good lawyer and keep fighting the good fight.
     
  9. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2007

    I agree: document, document, document! When she has moved on, I would advise she report these incidents; these sort of comments are certainly worthy of a "red mark" on file at the very least. I do hope by speaking out she gave others courage to also be vocal in their agreement that such words are unprofessional at the very least. No one should be forced to work in an environment where s/he feels is unwelcoming and judged.

    Although I am part of the majority at the schools I work at, I feel very uncomfortable and degraded when subjected to comments denouncing or degrading other races, religons, genders, sexual preferences, etc. One should not have to be black to be offended or uncomfortable with those remarks, and I do hope your friend can find some allies at her school, regardless of its make-up.
     
  10. lindalou

    lindalou Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2007

    Tomorrow the high school drama club will come to our school and perform a reenactment of MLK's I Have a Dream speech. There is one teacher who refuses to take her second grade class because "These kids have been lied to enough!" The principal refuses to become involved. This is stunning to me, as was the first post in this thread. We are supposed to teach tolerance, yet we are surrounded by...I guess we are surrounded by reminders that we aren't done with these unacceptable attitudes yet.

    On a brighter note...I was at a b-ball game yesterday with my 12 year-old and she made a comment about some player from the other team making all his shots and I said "which one?" and she said "the tall one." Well, when I spotted the tall one, he was black and the only black young man on the court, but my girl describes him as being tall w/o even thinking about it. I like to think it is getting better generation by generation...
     
  11. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

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    Jan 12, 2007

    I agree you should document everything. I'm somewhat surprised that those statements would even be thought of anymore.

    And now a small heartwarming story to go off what lindalou said:

    3 girls were coloring yesterday, (2 white & 1 african american) one of the white girls said that brown was an ugly color (they were coloring flowers). The other white girl said "Brown is a pretty color! (Julie) is brown and she's beautiful!"
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Even in public schools you can find racists. Thankfully they are fewer in number than when I was in school. I have observed over many years that even those that were raised with those ignorant views learned that ALL children are basically the same and need love and attention. Ok, here is my story on racism. 6 years ago a little girl came to my class in K. and said she couldnt play with Dayshia because she was black. They are in 5th grade now and Dayshia is her best friend. Why? Because Dayshia is one of the nicest girls in 5th grade and the smartest. And because the little girl (taught to be racist by her family) learned how wrong they were.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It's funny though, how aware some of the kids can be.

    Earlier in the year, we had a freshmen forget her lunch. Mom dropped it off, and it arrived in my cafeteria for me to deliver. There are 650 kids in my cafeteria duty, and I don't know a single freshman.

    So I eventually found a table full of freshmen girls who knew the girl I was looking for. I asked for a physical description (since naming her friends wouldn't be any help at all.) I got a total description: height, weight, hair color (dark), glasses, you name it. Everything but her race.

    The girls didn't realize that telling me her race would be a descriptive term, not a racist one. They just didn't think to mention it.

    Funny, huh?
     
  14. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Jan 12, 2007

    tell your friend to get in touch with the civil rights council in the area. If the city is big enough, the city itself will have one, and if not, she could contact the one in the capital.
     
  15. teachall

    teachall Rookie

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    Wow! I can't believe anyone would be so obviously racist. I teach in georgia too. I was wondering where this is happening?
    If she is part of the NEA or Page they may be able to help by providing her an attorney or support.
     
  16. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    I just previewed Ruby Bridges yesterday to see if my 6 yr old could watch it, and I said to myself that I was glad it wasn't like that anymore. Right.

    This situation is incredible and shouldn't be tolerated. Tell that friend to do whatever she needs to to straighten those idiots out.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I can not beleive that no one else in the entire school was disturbed by those comments. It's pretty scary. Those administrators should be in hot water!
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I am completely shocked and disgusted. I guess I am sheltered, because I didn't know that this depth of ignorance existed in our schools anymore. I've been teaching about the civil rights movement for the past week and glad, for once, that the kids just 'didn't get it'. The discrimination, that is.
     
  19. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    I'm glad that your friend spoke up, and I agree that she should document all that has taken place. Maybe she should consult a lawyer through a civil rights organization so she wouldn't have to pay for one out of pocket. I am appalled that this kind of thing is still taking place in our country. In our school we embrace and celebrate diversity. I am not African-American, but I would be very uncomfortable working under those conditions.
     
  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2007

     
  21. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    no update yet

    My friend decided to take a personal day on Friday and went out of town. I will hopefully hear from her on Tuesday and let you all know how people reacted to her Tuesday at school.
     

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