Last week, a student in Norman, Oklahoma, took extreme offense to her teacher’s lecture about how to “heal the racial divide.”
During the lesson, the unidentified Norman North High School teacher showed a video that he’d viewed at a recent university lecture. The video reviewed different historical events that have affected the natural biases that white people have.
At one point, the teacher told his students “to be white, is to be racist, period.”
This statement made one unnamed student so uncomfortable that she started recording the lecture.
"Half of my family is Hispanic, so I just felt like, you know, him calling me racist just because I'm white... I mean, where's your proof in that,” she told KFOR News. "I felt like he was encouraging people to kind of pick on people for being white.”
After school, the student told her father about the lecture and he also felt that the teacher was unfairly categorizing a group of people.
"Why is it OK to demonize one race to children that you are supposed to be teaching a curriculum to," the student’s dad asked.
Since KFOR originally shared the story, students in the school have rushed to the teacher’s aid, saying that the clip was taken out of context and his lecture was not offensive at all. Several students even staged a walk out in support of the teacher.
School officials also released a statement addressing the incident.
"Racism is an important topic that we discuss in our schools. While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended. We regret that the discussion was poorly handled. When the district was notified of this concern it was immediately addressed. We are committed to ensuring inclusiveness in our schools,” said Dr. Joe Siano, superintendent of Norman Public Schools.
Even though Siano released a statement, the student wants the teacher to apologize and make it clear that the lesson was his opinion only.
"You start telling someone something over and over again that's an opinion, and they start taking it as fact," the student said. "So, I wanted him to apologize and make it obvious and apparent to everyone that was his opinion."
What do you think of the student’s reaction to the lesson? Leave us comment below and give your opinion.
(Photo: Martin Shields/Getty Images)