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Do You Think Teaching About Racism is Racist?

Posted by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM
  • 15 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 (1-10):
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:58 AM

No it teaches the current students how backwards previous generations were in perception of different races.

by Emerald Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM
2 moms liked this

Racism is part of our history.  If we don't learn from our past mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.

by Silver Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM

No....depends on what's being taught. If blaming anyone is involved in teaching racism, then it's racist. When my mom taught Native Studies in high school, however, it was different because she had to talk about colonialism and the Residential Schools. Many people might look at that as racist, but it's the same if people were learning about slavery. I think you have to tread carefully to not put too much emphasis on blame. If you can teach effecively without victimizing and romanticizing the victims, it should be taught in a good way.

by Ruby Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

 If we don't teach our kids about it, how are they going to learn and not repeat it?




by Mikki on Jun. 2, 2014 at 4:49 PM

No, I think it teaches them how to be tolerant of others....

family in the van   Mom of four

by Bronze Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 4:51 PM

In general, no.  It would depend on how it's taught.

by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 4:57 PM

No, we NEED to teach our children about history. If they have been raised to be tolerant and accepting, learning about racism will only galvanize their conviction that racism is wrong.  "Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it." George Santayana

by Bronze Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 6:26 PM

He was teaching about history.  The AP needs to go back to school.  And I teach my kids about all that stuff.  They watch it as what was seen then and then I explain that its not longer considered appropiate b/c it stereotypes races.

Both my children since very young but esp. ds, have been interested in segregation, racism etc. they just can't grasp why a persons skin makes a difference and they find it interesting that they would've been illegal in the past.

by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Oh my goodness ! He's being racist to teach about racism , but if he didn't teach them about racism that would have been racist !

by Queen25Princes on Jun. 2, 2014 at 10:25 PM
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