I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What are the Implications of the Minority Race in a School Site Locally Being Insulted, Being Called Racial Slurs?--And no Consequences for the Student Using the Slurs!

I have had significant interest expressed in the post I made about one day in a local school- A day when a student verbally berated multiple adults and teachers, calling at least one adult a despicable racial slur.  From what I have learned, more than one student at this school has taken to using this slur and directing it toward the minority race individuals at that site.  And nobody, apparently, is curbing this ridiculousness.

Although this behavior is clearly a violation of the Board's Student Rights and Responsibility Guide, so far as I understand this situation, the student(s) who have hurled that racial slur at adults faced no punishment.

So why would a leader at that school not discipline or stop this behavior that is hateful?

Why would anyone who is a so-called school site leader permit this, meekly stating "My hands are tied, there is nothing I can do about it--sorry?"

I'm going to dig into this like a pit bull.  It is coming to the next board workshop.  In the era where we are constantly forced to walk on egg-shells around some issues, why the hell is this issue ignored,

swept under the proverbial rug?  When we selectively allow "some" elementary students to get away with verbally assaulting adults on elementary campuses, what does that portend for the middle and eventual high schools these kids will attend!  If the behavior is not curbed, if it is ignored, it is not only tolerated--IT IS ENDORSED!

I spoke to an administrator of another elementary school about this who told me "I would have brought that student to the office-we would have talked and I would have brought the parent in to the conversation"  she continued "But a bigger problem I have at my school is the students calling each other this racial slur....the N-word....It is a big problem!"

But when we are so disengaged that leadership ignores these issues, legal ramifications are possible, not just probable.  This article describes that civil rights complaints can be filed and huge jury verdicts can be awarded if leadership does not attempt to deal with the issue.  From the article

A lawsuit filed last week in federal court claims a black student was subjected to a "hostile learning environment" because of the persistent use of racial slurs, including the N-word, obscenities and insults by his black classmates at a North Charleston middle school.Tameika Guest, who is suing the Charleston County School District on behalf of her 12-year-old son, claims the child was intimidated and prevented from learning by the behavior of the other black students at Zucker Middle School. The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial for unspecified compensatory damages due to a violation of the student's civil rights...Kobrovsky, who regularly represents teachers and students in similar lawsuits against the Charleston County School District, won a jury verdict of $307,000 in 2006 in a lawsuit where a white former teacher claimed she was the victim of racial discrimination and harassment by students at Brentwood Middle School in North Charleston.Derek Black, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, said the lawsuits involving Guest and Brinson are filed under a section of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits a racially hostile environment for programs and schools receiving federal funds...the district and principal failed to stop students from bullying Brinson for being white, and were "indifferent" to a culture at the predominantly black school where white students are a "less valued and essential part of the mission of the school," the lawsuit said. Brinson was so badly bullied that he stopped eating lunch in the school cafeteria to avoid other students, according to the lawsuit. Brinson, now 18, dropped out of the Hollywood school in April of 2013 after suffering "emotional trauma and physical symptoms of stress," the lawsuit said.Kobrovsky is also representing Brinson's former teacher, Heather Michelle Leamon, in a lawsuit that claims district and school administrators failed to punish Baptist Hill students for racially charged comments against her. Although the cases involving Brinson and Guest's son involve nontraditional claims of discrimination under the Civil Rights Act, Black said that shouldn't matter. "The cases may appear unusual, but everyone is protected," the law professor said. "They have the same rights to be free from discrimination under the law."

So I guess at the next workshop, I'll be the crash-test dummy who has to ask these questions....

Is it really acceptable for a student to call an adult on campus a despicable, racial slur?

Will there be any difference if it is a Black Student calling another Black Student or Black Adult a racial slur?

What about if a White Student calls another White Student the "N-word", what if a white student calls a black teacher the N-Word" or a black teacher the N-word?  Are we really going to say "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do, my hands are tied?  Really?

What about if an Asian teacher is called a C---K?

Or a Hispanic teacher is called a Sp---K?

Or a Jewish teacher is called a H--B?

Are we really going to selectively discipline students based upon who said what to who according to  some ridiculous, unwritten formula based upon dysfunctional socially accepted norms about what race can use which pejorative term and which can't?  Why not just follow the Board's policy and correct the behavior immediately as is supposed to be the case?  What the hell is so hard about that??!!

It was recently stated at a meeting that "punishments were going to be equally administered with no racial bias or PC filters."  That's not happening.  And I'm not surprised.

I guess some schools did not get that memo and are still allowing their teachers and others to be berated, as long as it is "X" that has said "Y" and not some other combination that doesn't meet with PC acceptability.  What a disgusting, terrible display of blatant disregard for the dignified and respectable treatment of professionals and other adults working in our schools---trying to help students.

No wonder the employees are leaving in huge numbers.  Who would want to be treated that way?


Gulagathon said...

That's just a shame when a teacher has to deal with being called these racial slurs. The white teacher being called a cr**k** by a black student should not be tolerated. Why should the teacher have to put up with this behavior? When it comes to a teacher being called names, this is now bullying, especially if little is done about it.

If common sense was being used, this atrocious language would be dealt with promptly. A teacher cannot teach, unless she or he has a level of respect from the students. If the students don't want to show respect, then the school administration should enforce the discipline, and deal with that student, and be on the teachers side.

Im sure its not the entire class acting so inappropriately, but even if it was, an educator deserves respect especially if she has treated the students with respect.

When I taught, the black students would call each other the n-word, and Im not cool with that. One kid called me a bitc* a** n-word, and honestly, I feel like the administration blamed me, for the kid calling me that because I wasn't able to establish a good enough relationship with him. THEY ALLOWED THE KID BACK INTO MY CLASS, after he was in ISS for a couple days. Believe me I wasn't happy, I felt like there was nothing that I could do with this kid because he was just entirely too disrespectful.

The principal wants to cover things up too much, unless its something so serious that it cant be covered up. The principal wants to look good, the assistant principal wants to look good, and dean wants to look good, so the less referrals the better. Even if everybody else is MISERABLE.

Gulagathon said...

And by the way, I cannot stand when black kids call each other the n-word, especially in school. The schools has just tolerated this as a normal thing. They do nothing to stop this, as long as non-blacks don't say it. Well, sometimes if your non black, but embody the inner city black culture, the black kids wont mind if that kid says the n-word, and wont report it.

If a white teacher is called a cr****r, he or she is just supposed to deal with it, and work on ways to improve classroom management. So when it comes down to it, the teacher is on her own. Same thing if a black teacher is called an n-word by a black student.

If a teacher has enough pull maybe something can be done, but a lot teachers try to shrug off the inappropriate language, and say that's how it is when teaching inner city kids.

As a black man who spent a good amount of time in a inner school, I do see what the inner city black kids are doing, and its absolutely DREADFUL. Look, its not because their black, its because they haven't been taught proper manners, pleasantry, and civilized decency of the world outside of their hood. Not all the kids, but enough to make it a living hell.

So please DONT walk on eggshells because if I could, Id go in there like Dirty Harry, Eliot Ness, and Joe Clark and clean house. Confusion and Communism is running rampant throughout this country! Undercover Leninist and Marxist are getting their way. We're heading in that direction. So please don't walk on eggshells.

Jeff Bergosh said...

We have policies that the board has duly enacted and codified into board rules and also negotiated collective bargaining agreements. For teachers, or any employees to be subjected to this behavior is unacceptable. That's why I'm going to put this on the agenda to get an explanation as to why district so called leaders are not addressing this and enforcing district rules. I'm going to ask why principals are, at some sites, simply stating "I'm sorry, my hands are tied" when confronted with these issues and asked what their plan (s) are to address this student taunting/harassment. Saying "My, hands are tied, there is nothing I can do" only guarantees these issues garner MUCH attention. On the other hand, if these alleged leaders actually addressed these problem behaviors, when told about them, I would not be talking about it. My big fear is that the "we can't do anything about this" is being dictated downward. If that's the case then I'm going to get to the bottom of who is directing this blatant disregard for teachers and school board policy. One way or another, I'm going to get to the bottom of it, I'm not going to walk on eggshells on this issue. We simply must have orderly schools where rules are followed, otherwise we will never make progress and the only ones who will be "happy" are the district staff who demand political correctness....