It was last weekend when I received a disturbing email from the parents of a student in the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District.
They claim their child’s teacher at Cy Falls High School engaged in what they describe as racist behavior.
Eric and Ann Green say their daughter’s teacher allegedly allowed and joked with other students about a racist comment in the classroom.
That joke allegedly referring to ‘ninjas’ as someone Black.
Now, the district is investigating the claim.
Here’s a copy of the email sent to me by the parents (they approved the releasing of this email) and the district’s response:
Would Someone Please Admit And Take Responsibility That CyFalls HS Has A Racism Problem And Deal With The Issue? I would like to once again recommend that the entire CyFalls High school staff be trained on how “Not To Tolerate Racism”
Friday, Sept 14, 2012, in Mr. XXXXX 1st period class (Eng IV), my daughter, XXXX XXXXX, stood up to the students in her class and emailed Mr. XXXXX and voiced her intolerance of racist comments and jokes, as a result of being a victim of racism and bullying on several occasions. After which she spent months of dealing with a destroyed self esteem and just being in a horrifying negative state before we had to get her professional counseling.
This particular experience came about while discussing a story in the Literature book, Beowulf. In the story, a character named Grendel had killed 30 men in the dark with his claws and went unnoticed. Mr. XXXX said to the class; “Grendel’s a Ninja, How could he have done this?” A Hispanic female student said “Because he’s Black”. XXXXXX noticed the Black students looking at each other awkwardly while the Hispanic students and Mr. XXXXX laughed. Mr. XXXXXX tolerated the behavior and endorsed the comment by writing it on the dry erase board. (See attached photo) Comment is written on the Bottom right of the board (next to the words written in blue). After the laughter subsided, a Black male student entered the classroom and Mr. XXXXX said “Hey Grendel” and immediately said the student’s correct name after he pretended he made a mistake by clearing his voice after calling him Grendel. (I will not give the student’s name, because he told XXXXX after she asked him was he okay with being called that; his reply was “No, but there was nothing I could do.”) After Mr. XXXXX called the Black male student Grendel, the other Black students again looked at each other awkwardly while the Hispanic students laughed and Mr. XXXXX smirked while the Black student walked to his seat. While the Hispanic students laughed, XXXXX spoke out and said “That is not funny” and two Hispanic students replied “Yes, it is”. None to this behavior was corrected or addressed and in fact it was approved and coerced.
Our entire family has felt the affects of CyFalls High School’s tolerance of Racism. In the 10th grade, during the study of the To Kill a Mockingbird, XXXXX spoke out to students who were taking the words mentioned in the book out of context by making jokes. Instead of CyFalls Admin addressing the intolerance of racist’s comments; XXXXX was told she was too sensitive. In the 11th grade, after being a victim of racist bullying, instead of CyFalls Admin addressing the intolerance of racist bullying, she was removed from a classroom and cut off from other students by sitting alone in a classroom.
We are requesting that XXXXX be transferred from Cypress Falls High School to Cypress Springs High School on Monday morning, September 17, 2012. This transfer will be at no expense of ours as we have acquired enough expenses regarding Cypress Falls’ Tolerance of Racism.
Eric and Ann Green
The District’s response:
The principal has scheduled a meeting with the parents to discuss their concerns. She is taking these allegations seriously. When an issue is brought to her attention, she meets with those involved, investigates and responds to the findings of her investigation. Inappropriate behavior described in the email is not acceptable and if the behavior is substantiated, she will take disciplinary action.
CY FAIR ISD