A Howard County, Md. high school English teacher came back to the classroom on Tuesday after being on administrative leave following a clearly misguided moment. The unnamed teacher reportedly instructed students to write a “fun” slave song as they learned about Frederick Douglass.
“It was offensive and out of scope with what we should be teaching,”Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose told The Baltimore Sun. Foose went on to call the teacher “inexperienced” after the “outrageous” assignment.
However, the incident was largely viewed as another mark against a school system currently battling a systemic level of racism, coming in the form of multiple racist and threatening social media posts from students, which resulted in walk out of 400 students just last week.
There was also criticism for the school system’s response to the unnamed teacher’s assignment, which included an apology and allowing the teacher to return to the classroom after the investigation had ended.
“That’s a huge frustration for those of us who are trying to console the students who are victims of these social media posts because leadership didn’t do the right thing and address this systemically,” said Larry Walker, president of the African American Community Roundtable. “It takes the leadership standing up to the community, saying this is not tolerable.”
Foose still stands firmly behind the belief that the school system doesn’t allow any forms of hate speech, but wasn’t able to clarify what measures had been taken.
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