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Is there a pattern of racist behavior in public school classrooms across America?

I’m not an alarmist, nor an expert in polling, and even though this may be a small sampling, it’s still worth considering these critical facts:

Last week, a white Florida teacher was suspended after an investigation revealed that David Swinyar used the N-word repeatedly to his 7th and 8th graders while advising his female students not to date African-American boys “because they are not worth it.”

Swinyar teaches math at Kernan Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida where 22 percent of the school ‘s students are African-American.

Here’s what Swinyar reportedly told his students last year:

“If your boyfriend says bad things to you and/or treats you wrong, that means he’s acting like a n—–,” Swinyar said. “You all should not be dating all these different African-American boys because they are not worth it.”

And in a reported separate incident, students said Swinyar made other racist remarks about African-Americans during an argument with a student.

“If my daughter was dating someone who used the ‘f’ word, I wouldn’t have any respect for that n—–,” a student recalled Swinyar saying, according to a news report.

There’s more.

Earlier this month, another white Florida middle school teacher reportedly hosted a white nationalist podcast and bragged about bringing her white supremacist beliefs into the classroom.

Dayanna Volitich, a 25-year-old social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School, wrote her racist podcast under the alias “Tiana Dalichov” in an attempt to conceal her bigoted ideology from school administrators.

Last month, a New York City teacher, Patricia Cummings, who is white, walked on the backs of Black students as part of a slavery lesson during Black History Month. Cummings said she wanted to show Black students what slavery felt like.

Last year, a white Virginia grade-school teacher asked African-American students to pretend to be slaves and pick cotton during a history lesson while white students acted as upper class citizens.

And back in 2011, a grade-school teacher in Norfolk, Virginia went too far with her Civil War lessons by staging a mock slave auction where white students took turns buying Black students.

For at least the past seven years, these are real, tangible examples of white teachers, who for unknown personal reasons, foster some form of disdain for the Black students they teach. (And these are the ones we know about.)

And let me pose this question: When teachers are suspended and fired for perceived racist lessons dating back six, seven years, or more, why wouldn’t teachers today realize the racial implications and steer clear of similar exercises?

These examples, however, represent only a fraction of the bright, humble and caring white teachers – unsung heroes – who spend countless hours each week preparing Black students for the future. I know plenty of dedicated white teachers who I admire for their steadfast commitment to all their students.

But the teachers who bring their racist views into the nation’s classrooms – those who use the N-word repeatedly in front of students, those who physically abuse students in a twisted attempt to teach lessons of slavery, those who instruct white students to buy Black students in Civil War slavery exercises– have no place in any classroom in this country.

Which brings me to background checks.

The deep-rooted racism that some of these teachers harbor didn’t start when they first walked through the door of their respective schools. It started long ago and school administrators have a responsibility to conduct more thorough background checks to stop racist teachers before they poison – and abuse — their students with bigotry.

In the case of David Swinyar, here’s a teacher who used the N-word both to describe his Black students and said it directly to one of his Black students. And he went further – showing his hatred for Black males by warning female students to stay away from them.

Still, Swinyar only received a suspension.

Swinyar should be fired – immediately. This Florida school district should send a message to the state—and the nation – that it will not tolerate outright racism and total contempt for Black students and Black people.

I’ve heard some say teachers like Swinyar represent isolated incidents but how many isolated incidents does it take before someone acknowledges a pattern of racial intolerance in our schools?

What do you think?

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15 thoughts on “Is Racism Invading Our Children’s Classrooms?

  1. Really on said:

    Rasicm never left this country probably never will. Its like cancer. It will probably kill us all. The powers that be the evil ones in high places don’t want a cure.

  2. October on said:

    Maybe its a good thing he is bringing out the racist individuals. Would we rather have it in our faces and deal with the issue or let it stay underground and fester? Something to think about.

  3. Christianforreal on said:

    There is no denying it, Racism is strong and ongoing in our society. However we must be careful how and what we claim as racism. Some things we claim and want to own. I happen to agree with what was reported to have been said by Swinyar in reference to the n-word. Those descriptions he gave are just what n-words do. Even though that word was used to describe black people doesn’t mean we have to embrace it. We hold onto it like it belongs to us. the n-word is a derogatory word to describe the character of someone (not just blacks) of low moral character. That can be used to describe ANYONE who’s character fits. STOP claiming it as if it’s a petname for black people. Those who display the character that Swinyar relayed in speaking with his class are n-words, plain and simple. Many of the lessons that some of these teachers attempt to portray can be done differently, but if the goal is to teach our children their Black history than it needs to be done. How many children have you spoken with who had no idea who Malcolm X was? How man little black children have you had ask you what NAACP stood for? I’m not saying that white teachers don’t get a little carried away and many of them use educating our black children as an excuse to promote racism, I’m just saying we need to be very careful when we pull the race card!!!

  4. leadjustone on said:

    I agree with The Truth. Talk to your children, and if they tell you things that are troubling about school, follow up! Don’t make the assumption that something which sounds ridiculous isn’t actually true. Go and meet with school administration. You may find out that your kid was telling the truth. If he or she is lying, you may find that out as well, but at least you will have checked it out for yourself. Not all white teachers are racist, but this problem may only get worse, as school staff gets more and more white, and the student population gets more black and brown.

  5. americanize on said:

    White supremacy,which is racism,is a team sport.No matter what their job is.This is why racism works so well for white folks,its a global system.Black America you have no friends.Unified or Die.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      AMEN Americanize! You couldn’t have said it better Racism is a team sport and white supremacy is a Religion. They all practice in harmony that’s why it works so well for them. It’s an unspoken language that they all understand.

  6. Yes, you have RACIST teachers spreading their HATE to our children.

    You have young kids being handcuffed by the PIGS for some otherwise minor
    disciplinary issue.

    Kids being singled out because of their HAIR styles, etc.

    Parents of color may need to consider HOME SCHOOLING their children,
    rather than allow them to be exposed to this mess.

    This country is in a BACKWARD SPIRAL THANKS TO CHUMP AND HIS KLAN!!!!!!

    • Virginia on said:

      All this racism came as a backslide with Obama. Instead of placing blame on society at large and law enforcement, it would have been better for our society as a whole for Obama to have held back his devisive opinion until he had all the facts.

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        Or would it have been better for white society had a black man not become president at all. What divisive comments are you talking about? President didn’t divide the nation the racist simply showed their true colors because a black man was elected president.

  7. The Truth on said:

    Talk to your children and get involved with what your children are learning and doing. It’s not just teachers, it’s law enforcement its the judges, the banks ect. Fight until you get them OUT. We need to Wake Up and Focus on doing better…KNOWLEDGE, Finances and your Family Security. Talk to your children….

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