Letter from a soon to be former teacher.
I am a teacher who has had it I am done!
Allow me to explain: I am a teacher and have only taught in Title I schools (low income, high need…”urban” schools) for the past 7 years. My student-teaching experience was the only exception, and wouldn’t you know it, it was the best teaching experience I’ve ever had.
I am a black teacher and know that I have specifically been hired at my current school because the demographics have changed dramatically and they don’t know how to deal with these kids (more on this irony later on in this letter). The school is 80% black and 15% Latino. It’s a suburban school, but because they want to give all kids “a chance,” they are letting in kids that should actually be attending Chicago Public Schools and/or surrounding low-income areas. Forget about the tax-payers. Forget about the kids who actually live in the district. Just let all of these kids in and let them drain resources. Let them pack classrooms to capacity and wreak havoc on the school. These students and parents are not part of the community. They have no respect for rules, the law, or civility. The result? What was once a very nice school is now a disaster. A war zone. A ghetto mess.
The test scores have gone to hell, the behavior is atrocious, and the GPAs are some of the lowest the school has ever seen. I have students who cannot read or write. Last year, we gave diplomas to students who failed numerous classes (teachers were forced to pass them). Many of those students could not read or write if their life depended on it. But we have to keep those graduation rates high. We have to keep the suspension rates low. We can’t have too many Fs. We have to keep up the facade that everything is ok. But it’s not ok. You can’t put a bandaid over a bullet hole.
Rather than the school board and administrators identifying the problems and taking the correct action, their white guilt is causing them to turn a blind eye and make excuses. They blame it all on systemic racism and say the cards are stacked against these kids because America and Trump are racist. They don’t hold them accountable for their behavior or life choices. The parents know it. The kids know it. So what do they do? The parents and kids act like damn animals. Literally. Kids run, scream, cuss, and spit in the hallways. They are totally empowered. They have no respect for property, authority, and do not care about academics. The parents are never concerned about grades unless it means their kid is ineligible for football or basketball (the two most popular career choices). When that happens, they’ll happily yell and cuss at the teacher–claiming that they are not helping their kid. They’ll come up to the school and act a fool in the front office–making demands. They never confront their kid about slacking off in school. Oh no. The world is against their kid. They are never at fault.
Of course, all of the white teachers and administrators don’t get it because of their white privilege. In fact, they’re constantly apologizing for their privilege. Privilege, privilege, privilege. The reason black boys have the most suspensions in our school is because they are being targeted because of unconscious racial bias. It has nothing to do with the fact that they sell drugs in the hallways or engage in gang activity. It has nothing to do with the fact that they cuss out teachers and threaten Dean’s Office staff. It has nothing to do with the fact that many have no father at home, and therefore, have not had a man show them how to behave. Nope. Better blame systemic racism and unconscious bias.
Did I mention that I’m black? Yes, I have to mention this again. Because if a white person said all of this–if they said the truth–they’d be labeled as a white supremacist. If I say it, I’m a coon or [insert other racial epithet that blacks give other blacks that speak the truth are not down with the cause]. I’m sorry, but I was raised by two parents who never taught me that I was a victim. In fact, the most racism I’ve ever experienced has come from other black people. They called me names in school because I was articulate. They teased me because I was in advanced classes. They accused me of acting white and a lot of other ridiculous things. Even as a young teenager, this didn’t hurt my feelings. It just made me shake my head and feel sad for them. It also made me angry at my community. We look at other black people who excel, speak well, and move beyond the norms as “selling out.” This thought process is so toxic it makes me sick.
My parents did not allow me to make excuses for failure. I was taught to have manners and couth. I was taught to speak well and take education seriously. I have two degrees and will begin my Ph.D program in two years. My parents did not have much, but they wanted their daughters to have better. They didn’t teach us that the white man was out to get us. They did not hold us down–they lifted us up. I completely get that not everyone has the pleasure of having such great parents, but you know what? We can’t control the cards we are dealt. But, we can control how we play the hand. Stop using life circumstances (that were out of your control) as a crutch and an excuse to be mediocre and a straight up menace to society.
This is what I, as a black educator, try to explain to my white administrators. You’re not helping these kids by coddling them, patronizing them, and making excuses for their bad behavior and low grades. You’re crippling them. You’re setting them up for failure. It’s that whole concept of the soft bigotry of low expectations. If these kids want to overcome adversity, then they need to learn how to cope. They need to be educated. They need to be held accountable. They need to know how the real world works.
I think about the scene from Remember the Titans with Coach Boone. When Coach Yoast was trying to comfort all of the black players because Boone was “too tough,” he made the point of saying he doesn’t do that with the white players (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk2DlQuog6E). Why on earth would you have a separate set of standards and expectations because of skin color? That is actually racist. This is what my white administrators do to black teachers who try and actually get our students to see things from this perspective. They think we are being unreasonable and have the nerve to try and school us about how black kids learn best. It’s beyond laughable at this point. It feels evil now.
Personal responsibility and parental accountability makes too much sense. It’s a lot easier to cry “racism.” So…I’m done. I’ve tried for 7 years. I really have. But I’m only one person. I can’t change the system. I can’t change the backwards thinking. I can’t change the fact that these public schools want us to teach victimology. If we are not extreme leftist social justice warriors, then we are racist. I cannot stand it. And I’m certainly not about to allow this stress to kill me.
Of course when I tell people this, they say, “But you can’t. These kids need someone like you. This is where you can make a difference.” My answer? I should not have to sacrifice my happiness for anyone or any system–especially when it’s obvious that there is no change in sight. We are doomed. It feels like our society is doomed. Public schools like this are garbage and I just pray for our future.
About the Author
Colin Flaherty is an award winning reporter and author of the #1 best selling book White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore it.
His new book is Knockout Game a Lie? Aww, Hell No.
Both books are about black mob violence, black on white crime and the Knockout Game.
His work has appeared in more than 1000 news sites around the world, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine. His story about how a black man was unjustly convicted of trying to kill his white girlfriend resulted in his release from state prison and was featured on Court TV, NPR, The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune.
Thomas Sowell: ”Reading Colin Flaherty’s book made painfully clear to me that the magnitude of this problem is greater than I had discovered from my own research. He documents both the race riots and the media and political evasions in dozens of cities.” – National Review.
Sean Hannity: White Girl Bleed a Lot “has gone viral.”
Allen West: “At least author Colin Flaherty is tackling this issue (of racial violence and black on white crime) in his new book, White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore it.“
Los Angeles Times: “a favorite of conservative voices.”
Daily Caller: “As the brutal “knockout” game sweeps across the U.S., one author isn’t surprised by the attacks or the media reaction. Colin Flaherty, author of the book “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How The Media Ignore It,” began chronicling the new wave of violence nearly a year ago — revealing disturbing racial motivations behind the attacks and a pattern of media denial.”
Alex Jones: “Brilliant. Could not put it down.”
Neal Boortz: “Colin Flaherty has become Public Enemy No.1 to the leftist media because of his research on black culture of violence.”
From the Bill Cunningham show. It is official: “Colin Flaherty is a great American.A wonderful book.”
Breitbart.com: “Prescient. Ahead of the News. Garnering attention and sparking important discussions.”
David Horowitz: “A determined reporter, Colin Flaherty, broke ranks to document these rampages in a book titled, White Girl Bleed A Lot”
Sign up for the White Girl Bleed a Lot newsletter
And you do not want to miss that video, either!