Parents Angered After Teacher Plays Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ Video in Class

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This is America Classroom
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A teacher at Running Brushy Middle School in Cedar Park, Texas was criticized for showing Childish Gambino’s “This is America”’ video, and parents said the clip is way too violent for the classroom.

According to local NBC affiliate KXAN, the computer teacher showed the video to various grades within the school, and parents weren’t notified beforehand. 

One father said he had no idea the clip was going to be played to his son, and although he agrees with its message, he feels it still shouldn’t be viewed in class.

If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t seen the visuals for “This is America,” Gambino addresses gun violence and race in a way that’s in your face and artistic. Plus, before the the video ends, he shoots a man sitting in a chair, as well as a church choir to make his point felt.

After the complaints began to grow, the local school district issued a statement and said the teacher went outside of the guidelines, in terms of what’s supposed to be used as an education tool.

“A Running Brushy Middle School teacher showed an inappropriate music video to students during instructional time last week,” read the statement. “Once it was brought to the attention of the administrative team, the principal addressed the situation with the teacher.

“Our teachers strive to make curriculum relevant to the world around our students, and we support the use of culturally relevant content in classrooms,” it continued. “When incorporating outside materials, we require that our teachers ensure the content is relevant to the state’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and appropriate for the age of the students.”

At this time, school officials have not mentioned how or if they disciplined the computer teacher and her name, nor her identity has been revealed yet.

But even though some parents had a problem with the video being shown in the classroom, others believe it should be viewed in a school setting, like James Miles, who’s been an educator for the past two decades. In a recent blog post about teaching and education, Miles explained how he’d introduce the clip to students.

“If I were in the classroom, I would use this video as a visual inquiry activity,” he wrote. “At the start of class, I would ask questions like: What images do you see? Why does he treat the gun with more care than the person he shot? What does that say about America?” 

“Then I would ask the students to watch the video again and examine what everyone else is doing in the background,” continued Miles. “Good teaching is about asking questions, and this video brings up a lot of questions for the viewer to analyze.”

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