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I am one of few African-American educators in a predominantly white school district.
After I reported witnessing dozens of white students in a group using the N-word on school property, an administrator said to me, “I’m sure that was awful for you. Why don’t you speak with the students and tell them how that made you feel?” I was stunned.
Essentially, I was told that this incident was offensive only to me and that it was my responsibility alone to confront their behavior. The onus to address racism rests upon the shoulders of all educators in my district, not simply the African-American teacher.
I rejected his offer and instead co-founded the Race Matters Committee (RMC) — named after Cornel West’s Race Matters, which passionately and urgently addresses racial tensions — in our district.
In the United States, I envision RMC to be a place where committed educators, from all grade levels and content areas, meet to focus specifically on issues related to race and racism.
Read the full article about ending the silence about race as an educator by Sonja Cherry-Paul at The Hechinger Report.