Photo: Recently Released Report: New York Teachers Called Students “Border Jumpers’ and “Taliban”
In New York, a number of teachers have been reprimanded for making ethnic jokes or comments in the classroom.
After pressure form the media to release 2009 investigative reports from New York City’s Department of Education Office of Equal Opportunity, the full spectrum of misconduct by teachers has been revealed.
Assistance Principal of Brooklyn’s High School for Public Service Lyle Walford reportedly angered a teacher who heard him telling “yo mama” jokes to students in a back literature class.
“I said at one tie that it was a significant part of black culture,” Walford said, before making it clear that other, more weighty topics like civil rights were discussed in the class.
He said a disgruntled teacher turned him in, and that he can understand why the jokes could be taken negatively, but stopped short of all out apologizing for the jokes.
“I can’t debate someone’s perception. I have no defense for her perception,” Walford expressed. The assistant principal agreed to sensitivity training to settle the charges.
The report also notes that a teacher at Queens Junior High, David Butler, admitted to reacting to a classroom of noisy students by saying, “Be quiet, you Taliban” and “Stop talking, you border jumpers.”
He insists he used the terms “playfully” and did not direct the language at anyone in particular, as the class is made up of “various nationalities.”
The reports also included bias and sexual remarks made by teachers and other school staff to students, staffers, and even parents.
Armando Cataldi, who once taught at Brooklyn Tech, was fined $10,000 for suggesting that fellow teachers take part in “group sex” and telling his personal sex stories. He now works at Life Academy High School.
These incidents are just a handful that were recovered from the reports, and even these few have parents wondering, “What’s going on in New York schools?”