in today’s bad policy and GTFOHWTBS news….
A lawsuit has been filed by Chicago teacher, Lincoln Brown, against the school district for his inability to use the word “nigger” when encountered with a “teachable moment”. Here’s how the Huffington Post reports the story:
The incident occurred last October when Brown said he used the n-word after two of his students were passing notes with rap lyrics that included it, according to the Sun-Times. The lawsuit alleges Brown used the word during a “teachable moment” in the context of the book Huckleberry Finn in order to show how such language can hurt. But as the words left Brown’s lips, the school’s principal walked in to the Murray Language Academy classroom.
Murray Principal George Mason charged Brown with “using verbally abusive language to or in front of students” as well as “cruel, immoral, negligent, or criminal conduct or communication to a student, that causes psychological or physical harm.”
As a white teacher teaching Black students, Mr. Brown should have known better than to use the full word in any manner when addressing his students. Maybe he could have just said something like “We don’t use the “N word” in this class, especially when addressing each other and here’s why…” and sent the kids right to the principle’s office. Cultural sensitivity must exist in places of learning, especially if you are not a part of the same culture as the students you are teaching.
We know that the N word is commonly used among Black children, and in the lyrics of the songs they (and other races) listen to…but doesn’t an educator have the responsibility of correcting bad language..not wallowing in it, even if it is to teach the social irresponsibility of the word? Would he have used the same tactic if the word “p*ssy” or “motherf*cker” was written on that paper? Let’s be real.
Mr. Brown should have known better than this. This is an issue that has nothing to do with free speech or the 5th amendment as his lawsuit claims. It would be a shame to walk into any classroom and hear a White teacher using the N word to address a classroom of children, Black or otherwise.
We hope this frivolous lawsuit is dismissed…without prejudice.