...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
California English Teacher Sparks Outrage After Repeatedly Using Racial Slur in Class
A language arts teacher at Sequoia Middle School in California has sparked outrage after repeatedly using the n-word during a lesson on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The incident came to light when a black student filmed the teacher baiting a student to repeat the slur, stating that it is just an English word, and anyone can say it if they want to.
The student refused, but some classmates appeared to be laughing at the exchange.
The teacher repeated the slur approximately 15 times, prompting a parent to share the video on a local Facebook page on March 31, calling for the teacher’s firing.
Superintendent Miki Inbody of Fontana school district has described the incident as “an unfortunate exchange” and acknowledged that the teacher lacked understanding regarding the emotional impact of using such a word could have on students from diverse backgrounds.
Inbody stressed the district’s commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment and taking steps to address this issue and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Caroline Rivera, a mother of two students at the school, called the comments “not acceptable” and suggested that the school district discipline the teacher by pulling her out or going through training again.
The teacher offered no comment when contacted by ABC7, and Sequoia Middle School has yet to return requests for comment.
Debate Over Censorship of Decades and Centuries-Old Books Continues
The incident comes amidst a series of debates in the US and the UK over the censorship of decades and centuries-old books.
Publisher HarperCollins eliminated text containing “insults or references to ethnicity” and descriptions of certain characters’ physiques in new editions of Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries.
Christie’s works are the latest to undergo politically correct rewriting, following the editing of books by Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, and Enid Blyton over sensitivity concerns.
The use of the n-word, a racial slur with a long history of oppression and hate, is unacceptable in any context.
As an English teacher, the accused should be aware of the power of words and their potential impact on students, particularly those from marginalized communities.
The fact that the teacher repeatedly used the slur and urged a student to do the same is deeply troubling and highlights a lack of understanding and sensitivity towards the experiences of black students.
The incident also raises important questions about the role of literature in our society and how we deal with problematic language and themes in works of art.
While censorship is a controversial issue, it is essential to consider the potential harm that certain language and ideas can cause and to ensure that our learning environments are inclusive and respectful for all students.
It is essential to have a balanced approach to this issue, where we acknowledge the problematic language and ideas while also understanding the historical context and literary value of these works.