Unless you’ve had your head in the sand over the past couple of days, you’re aware that several California teachers have been suspended with pay after making disparaging comments on social media about their students who celebrated “A Day Without Immigrants.”
These types of comments were not limited to just one state. An elementary teacher in Washington state also derided her students on the same day and has now been reassigned.
What relevance does this have to #OklaEd, you might be wondering?
Oklahoma teachers from across the state recently met in a Twitter chat to discuss race in education. The consensus seemed to be that more people of color need to be teachers in our classrooms and we need to do more to support the people we have, and the overwhelmingly white workforce needs to be more aware and supportive of the perspectives of students of color.
But what about all those teachers who were not on the chat? What about those teachers who are so buried in their preconceived notions of what is right and normal, that they have no idea of their own bigotry?
(For the record, we are aware that we have been raised in white middle class society and that we have preconceived notions that we don’t even know exist. We hope and pray that those notions are pointed out to us immediately, so we can work to break them.)
Not sure what racism in education looks like, or if your students are impacted by it?
Take a look at the following Twitter thread by a 37-year-old Washington state resident — who is also the adopted daughter of the aforementioned teacher.
You can read it all in the following Storify.
See the problem here. So this is the question: What are you doing in your practice to mitigate the institutional racism inherent in our system?
Still not sure if your students of color have experienced racism? Just ask them to write about injustice. If they trust you, you’ll find out plenty.