A middle school teacher in Guntown, Mississippi, allegedly referred to two of the students as “colored” back in October while threatening to send them to the office for making jokes in class.
It’s just the latest in a long list of racist remarks or actions directed at Black students in American classrooms. At a time when academics and educational experts are studying the most effective ways to lift the academic success of Black students, these incidents highlight the precarious position Black students are in when their educational success depends on a classroom leader who may actually despise them.
Dominique Witherspoon and Paris Howell were the two girls targeted by the teacher’s comments and the worst part is that they will still be facing that same teacher every day during the school year.
Despite both girls saying the teacher’s comments were hurtful and make them feel uncomfortable, the girls’ parents say the instructor has not been fired.
It all started when the two girls were joking around in class.
The teacher told the girls to quiet down, but the jokes continued on.
According to Witherspoon, that’s when the teacher said, “Be quiet before I send your colored selves to the office.”
Both girls admitted to WTVA, a local news station in Mississippi, that they were shocked at the teacher’s comment.
“I didn’t feel good,” Howell said. “It didn’t make me feel right.”
The incident was reported and Superintendent Jimmy Weeks stepped in to make sure the proper disciplinary actions were taken.
Unfortunately, those disciplinary actions are being kept a secret from the students and their families.
“It’s hush-hush and it’s a slap on the wrist and I don’t want that,” said Michelle Russell, Howell’s mother.
Both of the girls’ parents have already met with other parents at the school to discuss what further disciplinary actions can be taken.
The NAACP has been contacted and parents are expected to meet with a lawyer on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Weeks still claims that the proper actions have already been taken against the teacher and that the district will provide a racial sensitivity professional development training session later this month.
Parents of students at the school say that still isn’t enough and say they won’t be satisfied until the teacher is fired.
Back in October, one North Carolina student claimed that math teacher Cynthia Ramsey made racist remarks while students were in her room eating lunch.
Kimberely Ashcract, the mother of the student who reported the racist remarks, said her daughter overheard Ramsey saying “if she only had 10 days to live that she would kill all Black people.”
The teacher was suspended with pay and has recently returned to the classroom.
In December, one Ohio teacher told his Black students that the country doesn’t “need another Black president.”
The comment came in response to one of his Black students saying he wanted to become president some day.
The teacher, Gil Voigt, was suspended indefinitely without pay.
A review of the teacher’s records revealed he had several incidents where he used racist remarks in the classroom. He has since been fired.