Saturday, January 20, 2018

White teacher in Ohio told 13-year-old black student he would be lynched if he didn’t do his work

January 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Latest Lingerie News


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A white social studies teacher at an Ohio middle school told a 13-year-old black student he would be lynched if he didn’t stop talking in class and focus on his work.

Renee Thole, a teacher at Mason Middle School, was reprimanded and ordered to undergo cultural sensitivity training by schools officials, according to Tracey Carson, spokeswoman for the Mason City Schools District. She was not fired. Tanish Agee-Bell, the boy’s mother, said Thole “shouldn’t be in the classroom,” and a petition on Change.org is seeking her removal.

District Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline released a statement saying in part (you can see the full statement below):

“We have seen an uptick in the number of racially and culturally insensitive comments in our schools and community. Sometimes these are said out of genuine ignorance. As a district, we want to be very clear, racial slurs or any behavior that discriminates against others are NOT acceptable. When adults act in a way that is not in line with our values, we lose trust. In our district we take corrective action to address these situations, but we need to do more. We will continue to invest in training and resources on culturally proficient practices for administrators, educators and classified staff members that lift up our district’s values. We must ensure that ALL Mason City Schools’ students are welcomed, valued and cared for while at school.”

The increase in racially and culturally insensitive comments mentioned by Kist-Kline is not found only in Mason City Schools or Ohio.

A 2017 UCLA report found that stress and racially charged hostility had increased in high schools in the era of President Trump, who has made a series of racist comments. The Washington Post reported that on Thursday, during talks in the White House with legislators about protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, he said: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

In Ohio’s Kings Local School District, near Mason, school board member Kerry McKiernan announced at a meeting Tuesday night that he was resigning from the panel because his son was part of a recreational basketball team whose members wore jerseys with racial slurs printed on the back.

“There is not place for hate or prejudice anywhere, certainly not in Kings. It breaks my Christian heart. I’m very sorry,” he said, the Journal-News reported.

Agee-Bell told WXIX-TV that her son, Nathan, reported that Thole “had told him that if he didn’t get back on task, that his friends were going to lynch him, and we thought he must have misunderstood.”

Agee-Bell said she then asked Thole what happened. Agee-Bell said the teacher gave a slightly different version, saying she actually told Nathan that if he didn’t get back to work, his friends would form “an angry mob and lynch him.”

Agee-Bell told the television station: “I was just taken aback because I said, ‘What you said is actually worse than what he said you said.’ ”

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Nathan did not tell his mother what happened for a week. He told her he had challenged Thole, telling her that her comment was “racist.” The teacher asked Nathan why he thought so. He did not bring it up at home for a week because he was afraid of getting in trouble for challenging a teacher, the newspaper said.

The Journal-News reported that Thole was reprimanded and told in a letter from officials that “comments that make reference to harming a student are not appropriate even in jest,” especially “when they make reference to lynching an African-American male student.” The paper said Mason Middle School Principal Tonya McCall wrote a letter to Thole telling her she could be fired if there are “future instances.”

Here is the full statement from the Mason superintendent:

Dearest People,

Growing Greatness Together is our district’s vision. But, we have not arrived. We have work to do.

We have seen an uptick in the number of racially and culturally insensitive comments in our schools and community. Sometimes these are said out of genuine ignorance. As a district, we want to be very clear, racial slurs or any behavior that discriminates against others are NOT acceptable. When adults act in a way that is not in line with our values, we lose trust. In our district we take corrective action to address these situations, but we need to do more. We will continue to invest in training and resources on culturally proficient practices for administrators, educators and classified staff members that lift up our district’s values. We must ensure that ALL Mason City Schools’ students are welcomed, valued and cared for while at school.

Last Friday, author Wil Haygood addressed our district’s educators with a powerful message — “Right is Right.” Now is the time for us to be courageous and have explicit conversations about racism, sexism, and other discrimination that threaten our greatness. Everyone has the responsibility to act when we see issues in our schools and community.

We will continue to engage our community so that we are all working to enhance the climate in our schools. We are best when we bring out the best in each other. Let’s work together, hold each other accountable, and lift up our values.

Thank you for your continued support of Mason City Schools.

Yours in Education,
Dr. Gail Kist-Kline

(Update: Updating sourcing on reprimand of teacher)

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