Discrimination or a Bad Day?

Via Facebook, a story from Native News Network about a student suspended for using her native language in class. FTA:

"The teacher went back to where the two were sitting and literally slammed her hand down on the desk and said, "How do I know you are not saying something bad?"

As a former high school teacher, I get it. There are days when you just are on edge. I once through a persistent problem child out of class because she sneezed. I just didn't have the fight in me that day.

I am hoping, based on the quote, that this teacher was having one of those days. Too bad for her it has become a meme on Facebook. There might be a context to this story beyond the article.

This reminds me that ethics is something to which we work because, put simply, we need less of this in the world. The default reaction to what we don't know is often fear, but that is something we can work to overcome.


Quentin Vieregge said...

Yes, that is what I thought too; this could have happened for any number of reasons, race/ethnicity being one; if I were the administrator, I would take note of what happened, but wait to see if a pattern emerged.

So much of teaching is forming and responding to relationships.

Anonymous said...

Did the teacher have a classroom policy? Was this discussed before privately between teacher and student? , Like you said: so much context left out of assessing the situation before we make quick judgments.

Perhaps it is just my annoyance with the story, but perhaps a lesson could be taught to the girl from this? Speaking your native tongue is not wrong, but there's a time and a place, largely determined by respect of your surroundings. Praying is okay but if I were to break out speaking in tongues in class that might (read: would) be frowned upon. That being said, there would still be a faction who would stand for my right to do so and claim it as a case of religious intolerance.

In this case, it's not a matter of intolerance for diversity -- it's a matter for intolerance of disrespect.