My 9-year-old daughter told me about what happened in Arabic class yesterday. The boy that sits next to her was playing with his spit. She said it was nasty and asked him to stop. He kept on doing it. She said that he gets on her nerves. She said it out loud and not to anyone in particular. Wonder how the teacher rationally responded? Well, she said, “black people get on my nerves.” Yes, you read that correctly.
The class gasped and some kids said “ooooohhh.” After that, she said the whole class went silent. S.I.L.E.N.T. She was upset. She cried. The teacher pulls her to the side and asked what was wrong. She told her what she said made her upset. She then backtracked and said she never said that what she actually said was “all people get on my nerves.”
I asked my daughter if she heard this her self. She said, “yes mommy, I heard it with my own ears.” I didn’t want her to tell me something she heard from someone else. She never wavered. I asked who else heard, she told me four other kids heard for sure.
I WAS LIVID. L.I.V.I.D. Who says something like that? Why did she feel that would be an appropriate response? The class has a bunch of black kids. The school is 30% black. How on earth is this happening to my daughter? I asked her how that made her feel. She said “mommy I was upset. I was sad because she was making fun of my skin color.” I don’t even know how I remained cool. I just wanted to gather all of the information.
My daughter is very sensitive and a little shy. Meaning, she will cry if someone upsets her, rather than flipping on them. My 8-year-old is the opposite. She takes zero “L’s” So, I want to protect her from this mean world. Then she probably feels if it is reported she will have to deal with the aftermath. She does not like if someone doesn’t like her. I always tell her it doesn’t matter who likes us. It is what it is. Just be a good person. As long as you know you are doing the right thing, it is just fine. She is very sensitive though.
I texted another mom and asked if she heard about what happened. She heard and she along with another parent spoke to the principle. The principle was shocked. The parent said her daughter was upset because my daughter cried. All three of our kids have the same story.
I was ironing our clothes this morning in a hurry. I needed to get to school. The streets by the school were being repaved, so all of the traffic was diverted to the school’s block. I was going nowhere fast. Parking was not about to happen, so I parked at the hydrant and prayed to the parking Gods. I did not get a ticket and the ticket person was literally 2 cars away from mine when I came out of the building. I ran my ass so fast. The parking Gods looked out for the kid.
By the time I got to the principle bright and early this morning she was already on it. I felt like she was waiting for me. When the assistant told her I was there, she told her “tell her to come in!” One child was there writing her statement. I looked at her like “this is happening?” She said my daughter didn’t even want to talk about it. She asked all of the kids to put it in writing and she started her investigation.
She said the protocol is to first get the kid’s statements in writing, get the teacher’s side of the story and then send it to the Department of Education. At that point, the NYC Department of Education will make a decision. Personally, I think the principle should be able to make the call. The NYC Department of Education doesn’t “know” the teachers.
She wants the parents to email her so she has our side in writing too. She said it is a process and we have to wait for the Department of Education to make a decision. I am about to email her now.
While I was talking to her the racist “teacher” was coming in to speak to the principle. I left at that point and didn’t say anything to her on my way out. Although she has been the Arabic teacher for the last 3 years, I never really talk to her. It is usually, a quick conversation. I ask how my daughter is doing, she says she is doing fine and I move on. This is an elective and as long as my child is behaving and doing the work, I am good. I have much deeper conversations with the main teachers. She never gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. So, I wasn’t even sure if she knew which child belongs to me. I also needed to talk to the dance teacher real quick and they were both standing in the main office. I made sure she heard me say my daughter’s name so she would be clear on who I was. You know she smiled at me? I just left. I did not want to talk with her until the Principle spoke to her first. I don’t want her to tell me shit until the principal has her statement.
Now, I am going to set up a meeting with Ms. Racist. I will be at the school in the morning anyway, so that is a perfect time. I am leaving work early to make sure my daughter had a chance to write her letter. I want to know what Ms. Racist told the principle. Even if she said “all people get on my nerves,” it is still inappropriate. She shouldn’t be a teacher if that is the case.
My thing is this…does she just get to teach our kids until a decision is made? My daughter doesn’t even want to go to her class. I don’t think it is fair that you can do something like that to children and they have to see you every day! I think she should be suspended until a decision is made; they need to move her out of our sight.
My daughter asked if she needed to listen to her today in class. I told her she has to respect her teacher, but that wasn’t going to be her teacher anymore.
What do you think should happen now? I need to make sure I dot all of my I’s and cross all of my T’s.