Racism is everywhere: even in classrooms

It honestly bothers me when people say they are “color blind” or they “do not see race.” Because lets face it, they are lying.  Everyone sees and acknowledges race, and I am no different.  The difference is whether or not you decide to act on it and make it a deciding factor in how you treat people. A vast majority of people see race, but do not let it decide how you treat a person. However, there are still some people whose actions are motivated by it.

For this reason, I believe, we have come a long way since the 1960s and MLK days, but we have not come far enough.  Racism still protrudes our everyday life in some form or another- whether it is the economic situation we live in, the prison system, the health care system or any other type of institution. Racist attitudes still drive them all, and, sadly, schools are not immune to it either.

According to the NY Daily News, a sixth grade teacher in St. Paul made racist comments to five black children in his class.

Tim Olmsted, a white teacher at the Heights Community School, allegedly told the five children to sit in the back of the classroom.

According to the article,”He told the whole class that it was easier for him to teach rich white folks than poor black people,” Latasha Tolbert, whose daughter was placed in Olmsted’s class, told the TV station.

Also, he allegedly told Tolbert’s daughter that “she was likely to end up on the highway begging for money, according to the report.”

Tolbert complained to the school’s principal, who did nothing about it, so Tolbert had her child moved to another class.

Currently, Olmstead is on two-weeks paid leave; however, an attorney representing three of the families said they will file a lawsuit if Olmstead and the principal are not fired.



About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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One Response to Racism is everywhere: even in classrooms

  1. David ********* says:

    he was my second grade teacher, im in eighth grade now and i must say, this does not suprise me at all, he was an ass!

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