MARY­LAND

She is dis­missed af­ter video shows her be­rat­ing pupils and us­ing a racial ep­i­thet

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Erica L. Green erica.green@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Eri­caLG

TEACHER FIRED: A Bal­ti­more teacher has been fired af­ter she was cap­tured on video shown on so­cial me­dia us­ing a racial ep­i­thet as she shouted at a class­room of mid­dle-school stu­dents at Har­lem Park El­e­men­tary/Mid­dle School.

A Bal­ti­more City teacher has been fired af­ter she was cap­tured on video us­ing a racial ep­i­thet as she shouted at a class­room of mid­dle-school stu­dents, school of­fi­cials said.

If you don’t get an ed­u­ca­tion, she yelled at the class, you will wind up be­ing “a punk-ass n— — who’s go­ing to get shot.”

Bal­ti­more school of­fi­cials con­firmed that the in­ci­dent hap­pened Tues­day at Har­lem Park El­e­men­tary/Mid­dle School in West Bal­ti­more and said the teacher, whom they did not iden­tify, has been fired. The school is mostly black; the teacher is white. The video has been viewed on­line more than 1 mil­lion times.

The teacher “en­gaged in ver­bally abu­sive be­hav­ior and made racially charged com­ments di­rected at stu­dents,” the sys­tem said in a state­ment Thurs­day.

Bal­ti­more schools CEO Sonja San­telises said later she was “ap­palled” by the video, which was brought to her at­ten­tion Wed­nes­day. She said af­ter watch­ing it, she had the teacher dis­missed.

“In the cur­rent cli­mate, we at city schools are very, very clear about where we stand with hate speech, any kind of ob­vi­ously dis­crim­i­na­tory lan­guage,” San­telises said.

She said she did not be­lieve the video il­lus­trated class­room man­age­ment prob­lems or a lack of sup­port for teach­ers.

“There are many peo­ple who strug­gle with class­room man­age­ment, but they don’t re­sort to hate lan­guage,” San­telises said. “We can’t pro­vide enough sup­port to coun­ter­act what’s in some­one’s heart.”

San­telises said the teacher was a sec­ondyear sci­ence teacher hired through the Bal­ti­more City Teach­ing Res­i­dency pro- gram, an al­ter­na­tive cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram the school sys­tem has used for years. She noted that BCTR teach­ers have a men­tor in their class­rooms for the first half of their first year and re­ceive con­tin­u­ing sup­port and train­ing — in­clud­ing di­ver­sity cour­ses, which San­telises said this teacher had com­pleted.

“It re­minds us that we have to be vig­i­lant and proac­tive about mak­ing sure peo­ple un­der­stand that we value di­ver­sity and are in­tol­er­ant about intolerance,” San­telises said.

In a state­ment, the Bal­ti­more Teach­ers Union said it “con­demns the lan­guage used” by the teacher.

“The union stands to­gether with Bal­ti­more City public schools in sup­port­ing re­spect­ful and equitable learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments for all our stu­dents,” the state­ment said.

The one-minute video shows the teacher grab­bing a male stu­dent by the hood on his jacket as she yells at him to leave her class.

She turns to the rest of the class and screams, “Whoelse needs to freak­ing leave?”

The teacher con­tin­ues to yell at the class, say­ing she had given them class­work to do.

“You are get­ting ze­ros for do­ing noth­ing,” she says, as one stu­dent stands next to her with a com­puter.

She con­tin­ues to be­rate the stu­dents, say­ing “You’re id­iots!”

She then yells the com­ment with the ep­i­thet, and calls the stu­dents “stupid.”

Stu­dents in the video ap­peared vis­i­bly stunned.

City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Bernard “Jack” Young tweeted about his dis­ap­point­ment in what he saw in the video.

“It turns my stom­ach to think about this woman in front of a class­room of im­pres­sion­able young minds,” Young said. “There’s zero tol­er­ance for adults who vi­o­late our young peo­ple. That video is proof that we have more work to do as a city and a coun­try.”

KEVIN RICHARD­SON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Schools CEO Sonja San­telises said the video “re­minds us that we have to be vig­i­lant and proac­tive about mak­ing sure peo­ple un­der­stand that we … are in­tol­er­ant about intolerance.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.