Two teachers at Whitney Young Magnet High School insulted each other during a heated argument in front of students after a white history teacher hung an African-American doll from a rope in front of his class, apparently offending his black colleague, according to reports. videos and an email from the school principal.
Video of Monday’s incident quickly circulated on social media among Young’s 2,100 students and led to a swift investigation by the school’s selective enrollment administration. While police say they have no record of the altercation, Principal Joyce Kenner said Tuesday night in an email to students and families that an official incident report has been filed with the district and that the school would follow “official disciplinary protocol established by Chicago Public Schools.” .”
A photo circulating among students showed the doll – a football player in a blue uniform – with the lanyard around its neck, hanging in front of a whiteboard in the Near West Side school hall.
“Unfortunately, there was an incident where a teacher hung a small stuffed African American football doll by a string from a projection screen in their classroom,” Kenner wrote. “The teacher indicated that he found the doll in his room and wanted the students to see if anyone would claim it. A colleague approached the teacher about the doll and the conversation between the teachers became contentious.”
Both teachers are in social studies, according to the school’s website. The white professor has been at the school for years, while the African-American instructor started more recently, staff said. Neither responded to requests for comment.
In the video that was filmed by a student, neither teacher is visible.
“Stupid,” says a teacher.
“You[’re] f- – – – n’ stupid,” replies the other teacher. “And you’re even dumber [inaudible].”
The other teacher replies: “Shut up! Shut up!” In a comment apparently aimed at the students, he added, “He’s wrong.
“You[’re] Wrong!” shouts the other teacher. “I’m not going to stay here with you,… you make me feel uncomfortable…”
The video ends as the student filming rushes away from the altercation.
Kenner said the administration emailed staff Monday about what happened and also met with students Tuesday morning and “discussed the incident at length.” We gave students the opportunity to voice their concerns and recommendations. »
She did not say whether either or both teachers could face disciplinary action, and a district spokeswoman said “the district is not commenting on an ongoing investigation or personnel matters.”
The students shared a message in support of the African-American teacher, suggesting the school should ‘release’ him after he reportedly missed some of his classes. “Run a riot,” the post read.
Kenner did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The Chicago teachers’ union also did not comment.
CPS teachers get into a heated argument after an African American doll was hung from a cord in a classroom “My goal has been to build a community of respect and professionalism for the past 27 years by as director,” Kenner wrote in his email. “We strive every day to make every student, faculty and staff feel comfortable, supported and safe.”