One Berkeley County mother says a teacher crossed the line when bringing up a current event in his classroom. The mom tells News 2 her daughter was singled out by a chemistry teacher at Berkeley High School, bringing up racially charged topics in the classroom when it wasn’t appropriate. The family asked to remain anonymous to protect the child’s identity at school.
It started when this high school senior chose to remain seated during the national anthem.
Her mother says, “Due to the ongoing epidemic of unarmed black men being shot by law enforcement. Her actions enraged her chemistry teacher, which caused an ongoing debate in the classroom.”
She says the debates continued last week following the officer involved shooting in Charlotte, and the chemistry teacher brought up current events daily for discussion in class.
The mother says, “He’ll start the topic and tell them that they need to present facts, and it can be about how they feel about the national anthem, how they feel about Charlotte, and most of the time it has to do about political stance and your beliefs.”
This mother says he daughter is vocal, and when the teacher brought up Charlotte, her daughter expressed concern for the number of black men killed by police. The next day, the teacher handed her a handwritten list of statistics with facts like, “In SC- killed by police: 12 African Americans 40%, 18 Caucasian 60%”. This mother says this singled out her daughter and crossed a line.
She says, “It’s a sensitive issue in the black family and the black household. So, you have to respect everyone’s feelings when it comes to situations like that.”
She says this topic should be handled cautiously at school.
She says, “When they want to show movies and reference to the Holocaust, we get a letter home. We get a letter home asking if we want our child to see a movie of that sort. The same should happen with this because it is such a sensitive issue.”
The mother adds the district handled her concerns appropriately.
She says, “I brought this to their attention around 10:30ish, and by 1:00 he was placed on leave, which I think that’s good. Maybe he will think about what he does as a teacher from now on.”
A statement from Berkeley County Schools says:
School administrators followed all procedures as outlined by the District’s policies to address this alleged incident, and District officials took immediate action upon receiving the reports regarding the incident. As this is a personnel matter, we can offer no further comments regarding the employee who was allegedly involved. Because our state standards sometimes call for “current event” lessons, BCSD policies are not written specifically for those discussions; however, all employees are aware of our expectations for staff conduct.