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White Chicago teacher sues to use n-word in class

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posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:21 PM
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I'm not quite sure what to make of this, whether the teacher is in the right or wrong.


CHICAGO - A 48-year-old Chicago public school teacher used the "n-word" as part of a lesson on the perils and pitfalls of racism, and it landed him a five-day suspension from his job. Now the teacher is fighting back, filing a federal lawsuit against the district and claiming that his civil rights have been violated.


I, personally, believe the school was in the right.


In almost impeccable timing, as soon as Brown said the "n-word," the school's principal, George Mason, walked into the room, and the trouble started.
"This cannot be apart of who I am," Brown said during a press conference with his attorney. "My character has been assassinated."
Mason gave a different account of the incident and charged Brown with "using verbally abusive language to or in front of students" and "cruel, immoral, negligent or criminal conduct or communication to a student, that causes psychological or physical harm" which is in violation of the Chicago Public Schools policy. Mason disputed the context in which Brown used the n-word.
"We've talked about racial stereotyping and how words really shape people's ideas of who you are," Brown said. "I cannot tell you how much it hurts me to say that word."
Following a disciplinary hearing, Brown was suspended for five days without pay. CPS denied Brown's appeal of the suspension on grounds that he "engaged in inappropriate discussions with sixth-grade students during instructional time."


Since I wasn't actually in the classroom, obviously, I'm not sure who is telling the full story here.


"It's ridiculous to believe that sixth-graders aren't exposed to this language, not only in music but in their everyday lives," Brown said. He also claims that the stress has caused him to have high blood pressure and sleepless nights. Brown has gotten support from parents of current and former students, but that has not convinced the school district to reconsider on its decision.
"The principal determined that the way the teacher used the word was improper and imposed a short suspension," CPS Director of Communications Robyn Ziegler said in a prepared statement. "The teacher has received sufficient due process. In our opinion, his federal lawsuit is without merit."


In my full opinion, I don't think using that kind of language is appropriate in front of a group of sixth graders. Whether they hear that language out side of school or not, I don't believe it's appropriate and the teacher got what he deserved.

Sorry if this has already been posted. Did a search and couldn't find it.




posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:25 PM
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To make this easy, why can't she just NOT use it?

I mean, whats the problem?

Why does she want to say it? No reason is acceptable.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Vandettas
To make this easy, why can't she just NOT use it?

I mean, whats the problem?

Why does she want to say it? No reason is acceptable.


unless been educated on the matter.

I dont believe people should say it, but having the word in such a taboo state like this, only breeds hate and misunderstanding
edit on 20-2-2012 by n00bUK because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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That word has NO place in todays society. Shouldn't be spoken by ANYONE. He either had a lapse of judgement, bad, or he's making a political statement., worse. He's there to teach. Not to make statements at his students expense.


+2 more 
posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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How can this teacher make the history clear if he can not use the words that were used back then? It's not like he's calling the people 'n-word's.

Utterly ridiculous and I sympathize with the teacher greatly.

Also ridiculous that my sentence was automatically edited to say "n-word" when that is not what I typed. It's just a word ffs.
edit on 20-2-2012 by MzMorbid because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by MzMorbid
How can this teacher make the history clear if he can not use the words that were used back then? It's not like he's calling the people 'n-word's.

Utterly ridiculous and I sympathize with the teacher greatly.

Also ridiculous that my sentence was automatically edited to say "n-word" when that is not what I typed. It's just a word ffs.
edit on 20-2-2012 by MzMorbid because: (no reason given)


Its not just a word. Brick, flying and stars are just words.... 'n-word' carries abusive history. Its very ignorant to say its just a word. I'm sure if you was of dark skin, you woulnt class 'n-word' as just a word


I agree a teacher needs to be able to say it, but im sure the teacher wasnt learning them that its just a word - if that was the case then i agree the teacher should of been suspended, but i doubt that was the matter.
edit on 20-2-2012 by n00bUK because: (no reason given)

edit on Mon Feb 20 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: Mod Note: Do Not Evade the Automatic Censors – Please Review This Link.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by MzMorbid
How can this teacher make the history clear if he can not use the words that were used back then? It's not like he's calling the people 'n-word's.

Utterly ridiculous and I sympathize with the teacher greatly.

Also ridiculous that my sentence was automatically edited to say "n-word" when that is not what I typed. It's just a word ffs.
edit on 20-2-2012 by MzMorbid because: (no reason given)


You don't have to say the word to teach history. Yes, that word was used, however, saying it gives the kids a bad idea, not to mention the fact if he had any black kids, they could take it as him being a racist.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:36 PM
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Nothings going to dissuade the fact that hes going to win.

And no one will honestly comprehend why because a mere word "scares" people.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Huggiesunrise
Nothings going to dissuade the fact that hes going to win.

And no one will honestly comprehend why because a mere word "scares" people.


IMFAHO, I doubt he'll win. That type of language isn't appropriate in a classroom setting. It's not really appropriate anywhere, really, but definitely not in a room full of sixth graders.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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Wonder what the implications would be if it was a black teacher teaching black students in south central LA.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by Believer101
 


This is a very defining moment in who we have become as a country, as a society and as a culture. We have been dragged to this place where we are force-fed a very suffocating prescription of political correctness that not only destroys free speech and free expression, but also cripples us from teaching others about how it all once was.

Many of us grew up with the old lesson that 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words/names can never hurt me'. This lesson blunted the sharp point that comes with racial insults, as well as many others. But today, we have forsaken this old wisdom in favor of a new paradigm that creates in us a fear of certain words.

We are a crippled culture now because of our inability to communicate in any meaningful way those things that really touch the basic heart of our divisions.
edit on 20-2-2012 by redoubt because: italics added



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:43 PM
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Just a basic question from someone who doesn't follow the culture, but isn't that word used between blacks? If so how can the word itself be bad? It's only bad if a member of a particular race says it? If it's not the word that causes offense, then what is causing the offense? That a person in authority used it, which implies submission and slavery?



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by Huggiesunrise
Nothings going to dissuade the fact that hes going to win.

And no one will honestly comprehend why because a mere word "scares" people.


How is it a mere word?

Funny how its always non dark skin people saying it just a word, stop been ignorant. Yes it is a word, but its a word that has been used to abuse one particular race for hundreds of years. Nobody's asking for compensation for that (which many people make out), we just say understand you need to stop ##snip## saying it. When you understand its not a mere word and we're progressing.

'n-word' is as bad as # off, ##snip## etc, if not wrose! - its a swear words that discriminates to one particular race. I know they say ignorance is bliss mate but ignorant to this matter gets you in some sticky situations
edit on Mon Feb 20 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: Mod Note: Do Not Evade the Automatic Censors – Please Review This Link.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by redoubt
reply to post by Believer101
 


This is a very defining moment in who we have become as a country, as a society and as a culture. We have been dragged to this place where we are force-fed a very suffocating prescription of political correctness that not only destroys free speech and free expression, but also cripples us from teaching others about how it all once was.

Many of us grew up with the old lesson that 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words/names can never hurt me'. This lesson blunted the sharp point that comes with racial insults, as well as many others. But today, we have forsaken this old wisdom in favor of a new paradigm that creates in us a fear of certain words.

We are a crippled culture now because of our inability to communicate in any meaningful way those things that really touch the basic heart of our divisions.
edit on 20-2-2012 by redoubt because: italics added



It's not about that. It's the fact that the word has been used time and time again as a racial slur and isn't appropriate to teach children about. It's not hard to say the 'n-word' without actually using the word. I would be shocked and most likely take action if I had my 11-12 year old come home and say "Mom! We learned about 'n-word's today!"

And with that whole "sticks and stones" thing, that has been proven false on more than one occasion. Especially with younger girls. Words can have damaging effects on the psychiatric side of young children. Wounds heal in a short amount of time, psychiatric wounds rarely ever heal fully.
Take it from someone who knows personally, words have more power than sticks and stones do.
edit on Mon Feb 20 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: engaged censors



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:46 PM
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reply to post by Believer101
 
Without being able to know who is telling the full story here, I wanted to just say that I'm glad to see the suspension was due to the context of how the word was used, and not to the word itself. I don't think it's inappropriate for a teacher to use the word in a discussion about the perils and pitfalls of racism (I think it's intellectually dishonest not to discuss the history and power of that specific word), but if the principal judged the context to be inappropriate, that's their call and I have no reason to think it's the wrong one.

I teach elementary school, and I can tell you that my students use the word frequently (my school is very mixed demographically, and I've heard students of all colors and backgrounds use it in different ways without offending anyone), and I know they hear it a lot in the music they listen to (like this hit single from the Grammy-nominated album Watch the Throne).

I actually had a discussion with one of my students recently about whether it's ever okay to use the word (I'm white; the student is black), and while I told him I disagree with any linguistic taboos, I also told him I don't feel comfortable using the word, and didn't use in that conversation (or in this post). Not sure what would have happened if the principal had walked into the room in the middle of that discussion, though...



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:47 PM
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Exactly why this world is going to pot.

Freedom of speech unless used against you at others digression.

Forget the context just because the word was used he is culpable. It is just a word, however you people are buttering it up, racism is more than just a word and this person is being made an example out of for nothing more than it being a taboo subject.
edit on 20-2-2012 by tanser because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by Believer101
 





It's not about that. It's the fact that the word has been used time and time again as a racial slur and isn't appropriate to teach children about. It's not hard to say the 'n-word' without actually using the word. I would be shocked and most likely take action if I had my 11-12 year old come home and say "Mom! We learned about 'n-word's today!" And with that whole "sticks and stones" thing, that has been proven false on more than one occasion. Especially with younger girls. Words can have damaging effects on the psychiatric side of young children. Wounds heal in a short amount of time, psychiatric wounds rarely ever heal fully. Take it from someone who knows personally, words have more power than sticks and stones do.


It is, in the end, about out ability to live and survive alongside those who don't always think and believe as we do. It is, undoubtedly, also about creating a fear of the spoken/typed word and removing our ability to rise above insults and those who cast them.

The word ''n-word'' (note: ATS Mugged this post) has a horrible history so when our children hear it, they should be taught what it means so they DON'T come home and apply it so carelessly. Of course, if we never teach them anything, they won't ever learn anything and words become unrelated to our history... no lesson is learned.

No... I am sorry. We cannot change our history no matter how badly we may want to. But we can learn from it... if we allow it.


edit on 20-2-2012 by redoubt because: (no reason given)

edit on Mon Feb 20 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
Just a basic question from someone who doesn't follow the culture, but isn't that word used between blacks? If so how can the word itself be bad? It's only bad if a member of a particular race says it? If it's not the word that causes offense, then what is causing the offense? That a person in authority used it, which implies submission and slavery?


Yes you will find the youth that is caught up in a materialistic attitude who listen to Swagga rap which consist of "'n-word' this, 'n-word' that - Hoes this, money that - I'v got this, you aitn got #" attitude" This isnt just confined to black people calling each other 'n-word' - we see white youth calling each other 'n-word' and they aint even got black friends - We see all matters of races using 'n-word' as just a word to call their mates.

This is the culture of the monopoly the entertainment industry, not actual black culture - far from it. I'll even go as far as saying this culture is whats holding us back from ridding racism.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:51 PM
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its just a word. just like cracker or honkey. exept they seem to be used alot more.
edit on 20-2-2012 by LonelyGuy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by Believer101
You don't have to say the word to teach history. Yes, that word was used, however, saying it gives the kids a bad idea, not to mention the fact if he had any black kids, they could take it as him being a racist.

So because some people cannot separate the use of the word in a hateful sense from the use of the word in an academic sense; it must never be used.

There is no arguing that it has the longest history as a derogatory slur, but to white-wash history is to doom us to repeat it. If we were to somehow erase the word from history that wouldn't destroy the mindsets behind it and another would eventually come along to replace it anyway.

So how then do you really teach how vile a hatred it represents when it can be used by people making millions with a music career but can't be used in the instruction of students?




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