In the most recent saga of racist teachers, a Long Island high school teacher has been accused of comparing four Black students, who were visiting the Bronx Zoo on a class field trip, to monkeys and gorillas. In a report from the New York Post, the Longwood High School teacher displayed the students in a slideshow with a caption that said, “Monkey Do,” which was followed by a photo of a gorilla. The school is now facing a potential $12 million lawsuit from the students and their parents. As for the teacher, who has been educating students for over two decades, he has not been terminated.
Meanwhile, white folks, presumably members of the community where the school is located, are criticizing the parents for seeking legal action.
Latisha Moye, a mother of one of the students in the photo, told News 12 Long Island, “One person said that they look like slaves.” Moye said that she was disturbed by the caption used to describe her child and the other students because “there is a history on this when it comes to black people — so it was very disturbing.”
John Ray, the attorney representing all four of the students, is holding the high school responsible for allowing white teachers to label the students as “monkeys” in a “school-sponsored zoology class slideshow.”
The Longwood Central School District has addressed the racist incident posting a statement via their Facebook page calling it “culturally insensitive.” The school went on to say the teacher’s actions was “an unfortunate lapse of judgment.”
“Without the intent of doing so, the photo was taken without fully understanding the sensitivity or the hurt it may have caused and reminds us that we must be more aware of the feelings of our multi-cultural population,” the school district said in a statement. “We are proud of the diversity at Longwood Schools, and we will continue to provide sensitivity training to our students and staff to raise awareness of our cultural differences. Longwood is committed to providing an educational environment that is nurturing, supportive, safe, and conducive to learning.”
While the parents of the students have expressed their dissatisfaction with the school district’s response to the incident, noting that the teacher should know better considering that he is a veteran educator, white folks are slamming the parents of the students basically saying they are blowing things out of proportion.
“Ugh that’s unfortunate. Def just a lapse in judgement, I doubt this teacher was intentionally being racist,” said one person.
Another Facebook user commented on the school’s statement saying, “If I was this teacher I would counter-sue for wrongful assumptions and smearing of my good name. Period. Hope the community will have his back.”
A third person claimed that the teacher did nothing wrong. She wrote, “I’m disgusted that the school district is patronizing this parent. The teacher did nothing wrong and no apologies are necessary. We need to put an end to parents thinking they can run to the media and destroy people’s reputations over something that had no ill intentions. I feel terrible for this teacher!!”
It is uncertain if any disciplinary actions have been taken, or if any will be taken at all. The school district will not divulge any additional information on the incident because it is a “pending litigation.”