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OT: Do You Think Teaching About Racism is Racist?

Posted by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM
  • 8 Replies

Beloved Teacher Suspended 2 Weeks Before Retirement for 'Racist' Lesson

by Jenny Erikson

Michigan teacher Alan Barron was recently suspended just two weeks before he was set to retire from his 36-year teaching career, and parents at Monroe Middle School are none too pleased. The district is looking into whether his teaching methods on black history were appropriate.

It seems as though the 59-year-old dared to show a video in class of white actors in blackface during a lesson plan on African-American history and Jim Crow racial segregation laws. Although he explained that many people once considered that entertainment, a vice principal sitting in on the class thought it was enough to turn it off and place him on leave.

The parents seem to be siding with Mr. Barron. One mom, Adrienne Aaron, whose biracial daughter (her hubs is black) is actually in the class said she wasn't offended. "She was more offended that they stopped the video," Mrs. Aaron said. "It had nothing to do with racism. History is history. We need to educate our kids to see how far we’ve come in America. How is that racism?"

Preach it.

Another parent posted on Facebook, "Mr. Barron is one of the ... great teachers we have in Monroe Public Schools ... He has changed many children’s lives over the course of his career. If Mr. Barron felt that he was teaching something that was offensive, he would most definitely not have done it."

It sounds like this guy has a huge support group. And it's not just the parents who are outraged -- the kids are too. One student has even been making and distributing T-shirts in support of Mr. Barron.

The saddest part is that this nonsense is coming right at the end of his career, which means he's not allowed to attend any district functions, including the annual banquet where retiring teachers are honored. Mrs. Aaron lamented, "It's so sad this has happened to him ... he's one of the best teachers we’ve had. We can’t believe that this is happening."

Do you think teaching about racism is racist?

by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM
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Replies (1-8):
SlapItHigh
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 1:26 PM
1 mom liked this
Teaching about racism isn't racist but somehow I'm thinking there is more to this story, as usual.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Jun. 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM

No I don't.

krys1025
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 2:35 PM
I think slavery, segregation and racism was a part of history and kids definitely should learn the history of the US.
mom2jessnky
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 2:57 PM

It sounds like the VP is in the wrong here, if the parents are on the teacher's side the VP wildly overreacted.

usmclife58
by Nikki on Jun. 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting SlapItHigh: Teaching about racism isn't racist but somehow I'm thinking there is more to this story, as usual.



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adoptivemomof1
by Mel on Jun. 2, 2014 at 7:52 PM
I do not think teaching about racism is racist but I question the methods used by this teacher. I also think there is more to the story...
JerseyAirGurl
by Ada on Jun. 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM
1 mom liked this
When I taught if we planned to show a movie it had to be approved. The district was strict with what we could and could not show. There is probably more to this story.
lwalker270
by Bronze Member on Jun. 4, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Not at all.  If we don't discuss an issue, how can we approve upon it?

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