racist parents

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by myloveasdeep, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2015

    First of all, let me say my admin is fully informed and on board with the procedural part of this.

    How do you deal with racist and misogynist parents? I mean, I'm editing a student newspaper article and he's clearly got an agenda. The genetic fallacy is the basis of all his points. When I put edits to this effect in his paper, his dad stepped in to let me know that "all conclusions drawn from facts are equally valid".

    So academically, I know how to proceed. What is keeping me up at night is that I can neither give this guy a piece of my mind, nor can I avoid him. I have to keep my mouth shut, and that doesn't sit right with me at all.

    How do you folks deal with this?

    Eta: I am really just looking for something to tell myself so I can live with this situation. However, this does have me questioning my ability to stay in this position ultimately.
     
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  3. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Seems to me that if you have referred it to your admin, you need to ask them how and when to respond. It's in the admin's court and need their direction so that the response is uniform.
     
  4. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Oh, there is no question of responding. That will not happen. The point is I feel so upset about having to let this guy spew his Aryan nation beliefs at me and probably have parent teacher conferences with him, that I cannot sleep. How do you balance professional behavior with social justice? How do you deal with it on an emotional 3 am level?
     
  5. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Then it sounds like you're going to be his punching bag from here on out. Resigning the post just passes the problem on to the next person and/or the end of the paper. Ending the paper seems like the best out because then no one has a voice and you don't have to field any of the bs.

    I wish you as much peace as you can find. It doesn't sound like you have any room to negotiate this without some bumps and bruises regardless of how you choose to solve the problem.
     
  6. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Wow, I would have a very difficult time not saying something to this parent. I am obviously not in your situation so this is easy for me to say, but can you ask him to cite his "factual" sources?
    I have a feeling that if I were in your situation I might tell this parent that I find the content out of line with today's diverse school populations or something of the sort.
     
  7. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    basically if you are up at 3 am thinking about this person and/or the parents, you are in fear. the best way to handle fear is to confront it. In other words, go out of your way to talk to this person. Be nice to him.if he says something that is offensive, refer to your school's policies regarding bullying, creating a hostile environment, etc. document when and where the conversation took place, time, what was said, etc. Eventually this person will shut up or continue to act in an inappropriate manner (the more likely of the 2 scenarios), which should lead to a fairly serious consequence. then he will be awake at 3 thinking about you and you will have peace.

    people like these are bullies. which means they are cowards. Which means you have nothing to be afraid of. DO NOT let this coward (or rather your fear of him)have this much power over you. Best wishes.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Why is the parent responding on a student paper? Have the student defend his own ideas and thoughts, not 'daddy'. That might make it easier to deal with the actual paper, since I'm sure your not afraid of dealing with the student, and you can easily take him,lol, and win over his brainwashed screwed up mentality.

    As far as dealing with the parent here on out, I would also advise to be cordial, polite, and very professional with him, but as soon as he says something offensive (even implying it) you step in and dismiss it with quoting school policy as noted above.

    This issue really shouldn't come up in parent contacts though. He can't accuse you of racism, since I'm sure that's not the issue here, he can't challenge what you teach, because you're following school and state curriculum, and anything else is just his personal view which are not relevant to his child's education. If he is acting racist towards you, or making comments in general, get him to shut up with saying "let's keep the focus on your child and his education"

    I understand though how you feel, this would keep me up at night, very angry. In my situation my admin would not hesitate to back me up and handle it in ANY way possible. (bullying and harassment of a teacher is a big no-no for her)
     
  9. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2015

    I had a student whose step-father was head of the AN in my area. His bio-father was in jail and was part of the same "society". It was horrible and I was terrified about having his parent-teacher interview (I am not white). Thankfully a new class opened and I got him moved there. I lost respect for my admin. when this student was placed in my class and I believe that they did put me in danger. His step-dad hasn't showed up at school and his mother makes no eye contact with me when she is at school.
     
  10. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I am going to ask this because it pertains to the OP. In no way am I trying to be insensitive, but what was actually 'horrible" about this and why were you terrified?

    Mark Twain once said, "my life has been filled with terrible calamities, some of which actually happened". Meaning most of the stuff we worry about is all fictional. Yes bad things do happen. But what is the value of borrowing trouble?

    I have a friend who was a different ethnicity than myself. We have been several times to a nearby club to eat, hang out and listen to the live music, which is outstanding. I have been told by several people that I am "crazy" to go to that neighborhood. But I have always had a good time and been treated no differently than any other customer.

    I certainly mean no disrespect. I know that the Aryan Nation has done bad things (actually I don't actually know that, i just infer that from watching bad made for TV movies), as have the Christians, Muslims, atheists,whites, blacks, browns, reds, Nazi's, Communists, Americans, etc. I just don't understand why people worry so much about what might happen.

    Is it wise to take precautions? Yes, that is why I use my seat belt, carry insurance and avoid driving in icy or snow conditions. But it is not wise (imo) to worry.

    Of course, if this family has a history of violence or has caused any kind of trouble at school with former teachers, then please disregard the above. i will celebrate with you the fact that he got transferred to another classroom. I want to reiterate that this is not an inflammatory post and hope that you don't take it as such.
     
  11. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Regarding the dad commenting on the paper: it is in google docs and the student shared it with him so that he could inform me that I was out of line . I'm taking the insisting on evidence and solid argument techniques route with the student. That's treating him exactly the same as every other student.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Ignore the father's statements. Just as you would any other parent's comment on a paper you've graded. If you graded the work appropriately, the father's opinion doesn't matter.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 17, 2015

    This.

    Also, you can simply say that this kind of paper will not be tolerated in your classroom. You have an entire room of kids to protect. If ANYTHING comes up that threatens the sanctity of your classroom, you need to shut it down, even if it's a parent.

    I would tell the parent that you will be requiring the student to rework his paper with you personally and pick a different topic. If he has a problem with that he can take it up with admin. (You are not required to deal with a parent if you don't want to.) If your admin doesn't back you, talk with the union.

    I probably wouldn't even grace the parent/kid with a serious consideration of his "evidence" for his arcane views.
     
  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 17, 2015

    This doesn't sound like a graded paper... it's a student newspaper article.

    In that case, give it back to the student, tell them it won't be printed in the newspaper, period.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Your state's organization for journalism teachers and/or the local chapter of the Journalism Education Association may have some helpful commentary about what the school can and can't quash.
     
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I may be misunderstanding you, but are you seriously comparing the Aryan Nations (a white supremacist organization) to Christians and Muslims?
     
  17. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Jan 18, 2015

    I believe you're misunderstanding. I understood that section to mean there are people in every group who have done bad things, but that doesn't mean everyone in a group is intent on doing bad things. Just as I'm sure GT meant that not every atheist, white, black, brown, red, Nazi, Communist, and American is intent on harm, but there are surely some in every group who are.
     
  18. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    The difference is that the purpose of the Aryan Nation really is to scare and harm those who are "different".
     
  19. GTB4GT

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    Jan 18, 2015

    yes, and by being afraid of them, the poster to whom I responded is allowing them to be successful. just like the OP who was in fear because she was dealing with people who are racist. These people are bullys and want you to be afraid of them. You can choose to do that. However, most bullies are cowards and only prey on the weak. Or you can choose to ignore them.

    As a great man once said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself". and this was a man who was, in fact, dealing with a great evil and not just a perceived threat.

    another "Worrying is just praying for what you don't want".

    I never concern myself with those who make threats. people who are intent on trouble generally don't announce themselves (imo and based on my experiences).

    again, best wishes to the OP. I know that when one is dealing with such situations, the advice and all the input from others is fairly easy to dismiss.
     
  20. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    I am not afraid. I am angry that my normal approach to racist ignorance would violate professional decorum.

    For what it is worth, I don't think it is anyone's place to tell members of a group on the receiving end of hate speech when they should feel threatened or scared.
     
  21. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    ok. no harm intended, regards.
     
  22. myloveasdeep

    myloveasdeep Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2015

    That's a good way to think about it, Heart. I'm going to ponder that. I'd only been thinking about it in terms of responding to the father. Thank you!
     

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