Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Reality check

Have been having an experience at school that makes me feel sort of isolated and crazy. Meanwhile Chris has the RNC going on in the background which is sort of amplifying the effect.

Last year we had a few students who thought it was funny to draw pictures on the whiteboards of "Mexican" people wearing sombreros and mustaches, and in one case standing behind a barbed wire fence. When I would ask the kids to erase these pictures, and later write them up for it, I got very little support from the other staff members. They would say things like, "Well, personally I don't find it offensive, but if Julie does then we shouldn't have it in our school."

On Friday, I noticed that our Spanish teacher had hung up a poster outside her classroom with a drawing of a chili pepper wearing a sombrero and a mustache, saying "Ole!" Long story short, I am basically the only teacher in the school who finds this culturally insensitive. I am getting no back up from our school leaders, one of whom actually told the Spanish teacher not to take it down so that it could be used as a teaching tool.

What do I do? Am I crazy that this is insensitive and doesn't belong in a school?

2 comments:

Debra said...

You were right in confronting it. It would be interesting to see who else has these issues in their school and what productive actions they are taking to resolve these issues. It's probably happening all over the country/world, but no one is taking a stand. It takes a strong person to respond the way you did.

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