Monroe Middle School, where teacher Alan Barron taught a lesson on Blackface and was suspended. (Photo: AP Photo/Evening News, Kim Brent)
Michigan middle school teacher Al Barron is happy to be back in the classroom after he was placed on paid leave for two weeks by his school district because of a lesson he taught on Blackface.
Barron showed his class a clip of minstrel performers who dressed up like Black people for entertainment after teaching them about stereotypes. The subject matter was taken from a textbook, according to Monroe News.
After Barron's suspension, students and parents were outraged at the district for the decision to put the veteran teacher on leave. An assistant principal of Monroe Middle School was sitting in on the class during the lesson.
However the district is now calling the suspension a result of a "miscommunication."
“The teacher in question was placed on paid leave to give the district time to fully consider what occurred in this classroom,” Monroe Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Martin said. “As a result of incorrect information, a highly respected and loved teacher, and one who has done much for his students and the community, has had to endure a public airing of what should have ended through a district discussion.”
Barron, who has taught in the district for 36 years, is expected to retire from teaching this year. He expressed gratitude to his students and the community for supporting him during the difficult time.
“I have no words that can express my gratitude and thanks for the support you have shown toward me during this turbulent time of my career,” Mr. Barron said on his Facebook page. “Each day I preach to my students far more than history. I preach about choices, commitment and community service as I try to practice what I teach.”
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_
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