Teacher’s BLM social media post sparks outrage, investigation

National

PALATINE, Ill. (WGN) — A Facebook post about “Black Lives Matter” protests is now the subject of an internal investigation at a suburban Illinois high school.

Some current and former students say they are outraged by a now-deleted Facebook post from a social studies teacher at Palatine High School.

“They should take immediate action on the teacher so that the school knows they are indeed backing up black people and they are in support,” said former student Aaliyah Holloway. “Because letting her go under investigation I feel it’s not enough. It’s not enough.”

The post says, in part:

I find the term “white privilege” as racist as the “N” word. You have not walked in my shoes either so do not make assumptions about me and my so called privilege. You think America is racist? Then you have been hoodwinked by the white liberal establishment and race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

“That is in no relation the same as saying the N-word,” Holloway said. “That just shocked me. It’s not the same.”

“As awful as it was, it was not surprising coming from her because she’s had a history of posting severely problematic things on her Facebook for years,” said Amirah Nasir who graduated from the school in 2012.

District 211 released a statement saying:

“The administration was made aware of a social media post made by a staff member. The posting has been removed, and we are currently conducting an investigation and will follow through with appropriate measures.  The statements in the post do not reflect the values or principles of District 211. We are truly sorry for any harm or disrespect that this may have caused.”

Tim McGowan is a Palatine resident and a parent who helped organize a Black Lives Matter rally in Palatine last week.

“I grew up here,” he said. “My white friends often will interact with the law enforcement on my behalf, because they know and they recognize that it’s at least less likely that the situation will escalate with them than it will with me. That’s white privilege. It’s a privilege I don’t have.”

McGowan said the teacher should be terminated.

“She’s in charge of molding minds. I don’t think she’s suitable to do that anymore,” he said. “Before we can heal, we kind of got to admit where flaws are. We have to point out the problems. We have to point out the issues. But prior to that, we’re not going to heal.”

McGowan said he’s hoping this issue will be addressed at the next virtual school board meeting next week. He’s calling for the district to implement culturally responsive professional development, address hiring practices, and create a more inclusive curriculum.

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