The Granite School District in Utah has completed its investigation of the teacher who said in a video that her classroom was built for non-white students. According to a report in the Deseret News, the district determined that the William Penn Elementary School fourth-grade teacher had not violated district policy or state law. The district did find “cause for corrective action,” however. The paper also notes that the district plans to transfer the teacher.
Before the start of the school year, the teacher in question posted a video on social media stating that it would be her first time teaching in a school that was mostly attended by white students, and she wondered how the students and parents would react to a classroom designed for non-white students. You can watch the full video below:
Please note the term “posh white parents.” For someone claiming to champion diversity, the teacher seems to have no problem lobbing that particular phrase into her comments. The Deseret News also reports that the State Board of Education already prohibits instruction or training which endorses that someone’s religion, sexual orientation, race, sex, or gender identity is superior to another as well as lessons teaching that “a student or educator bears responsibility for the past actions of individuals from the same sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected class as the student or educator.”
The district decided that the teacher did not cross any of those boundaries. But in the video, she appears to get fairly close to them, with a wink and nod to her supporters. In doing so, she is widening, not bridging the gap. And the paper did release this statement from the district by the teacher:
I sincerely regret the disruption brought to the school, faculty, community, families and above all, my students. The expectations in my class are to be safe, responsible and respectful. I built my classroom for all learners and to be welcoming to all families. I have and will continue to ensure that every student feels welcome and represented in my classroom, and I strive to provide an inclusive environment and to ensure the safety and comfort of all my students.
I also want to reiterate the importance of parental engagement and welcome their involvement in the education of their children. I am committed to adhering to state and district approved standards, curriculum and materials to ensure the success of my students.
Ideally, a school should teach about American, Asian, Middle-Eastern, European, Mediterranean, and African history. Students should learn about George Washington, George Washington Carver, Thomas Paine, Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King, Jr, Jonas Salk, and Charles Richard Drew. They should learn about Dwight Eisenhower and the Tuskegee Airmen. And everyone and everything in between. They should be able to read the works of Wordsworth and Langston Hughes.
And their coloring pages should reflect everyone.