Racial Slur As Teachable Moment?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Racial Slur As Teachable Moment?
8
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 10:44am

A Chicago teacher filed a lawsuit in federal court over being suspended for using a racial slur in a teachable moment in his classroom, he was interviewed by MSN:

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 11:33am

I think there are many teachable moments away from prepared lessons that teachers can talk to kids about, This probably crossed the line but so does rap music IMO..... My kids are in 7th and 8th grade, they come home with these things they hear from thier teachers that I think is over the top sometimes too, It goes on.

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 12:09pm

Context is everything.

Chris

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 4:34pm
I think I'd rather it be taught by a teacher that can relate being called by a racial slur, believe it would make more of an impact on the students if they can hear their teacher's experiences growing up in a racial society. In this situation, the teacher did his best to try to educate the kids.

Kids today need to know the meaning behind the words they hear, how else are they going to learn sensitivity and empathy? Parents need to actually need to look up the lyrics to the music their kids are listening to, I can't believe some of the crap that they allow. Probably because they aren't really paying attention..

Chelsea

"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 4:35pm
What do you mean, Chris?

Chelsea

"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2012
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 4:45pm

While I understand that he was trying to teach 'history,' I think there are better ways to do it. We cannot rewrite history and unfortunately there are bad words and events that occurred and we cannot gloss over them as though they did not exist, but we also can be sensitive to the fact that some of these children may not have heard such terminology/slurs. It is not his job to do that. When you teach something sensitive, you seek permission of the parents.

I think he lost me when he sued though. He needs to stop. Suing only costs the school district money better spent on the students or teaching salaries (not his though?) and as a teacher, there are rules to which he must adhere. You cannot sue every time that your employer has a rule that you do not like. If you do not like the rules/limitations, you do not have to take the job.

Avatar for cupcakebabe
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2011
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 5:01pm

I absolutely think teachers should be permitted to use the word(s) to teach. If the kids are using them in the classroom, then the teacher can use it as a teachable moment. I feel this teacher is spot on. Kids need to be taught at that moment (immediate consequence comes to mind) why what they do/say is wrong. Did he CALL a student the slur? Or was he giving the history on it? BIG difference.

I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with the suing. On one hand, IF he went against school policy (is there a policy that states teachers can't teach history on racial slurs?) then that's on him. If there is no such policy and this is some idiotic zero tolerance rule (there NEEDS to be a gray area when it comes to schools for certain things) then I believe he is in the right for suing.

-Olivia

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 6:46pm

Depending on the context in which the word is used, it is acceptable or not.

The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Thu, 02-23-2012 - 2:26pm

It's pretty difficult to imagine an urban kid who has reached the age of 11 without ever having heard the N word.