FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — A controversial English assignment at Roosevelt High School has sparked outrage from parents and community members. Some of them spoke up at Wednesday’s school board meeting.
The assignment was presented as an African-American language explainer, with grammatically-incorrect sentences that students were required to translate into traditional English.
“The last thing they need – our children – is to be forced to attend class and to be mocked and bullied by students because of a lesson plan used to highlight African-American vernacular English,” said a man.
The story quickly gained attention online.
The school district responded with an apology, saying the worksheet is not part of the district’s adopted curriculum.
“There should be some kind of disciplinary action taken because, once again, if you don’t know what they’re teaching, and you have a teacher that’s just being let free to teach, then that can cause all kinds of harm in the classroom, especially if it’s not monitored,” said Debbie Darden with the Black Education Coalition Organizing Network.
People voiced their disapproval at a press conference before the meeting and by stepping up to the microphone to address the school board.
“If the district is actually looking into making sure that there’s training for teachers that is culturally-responsible, then how is it that you have a teacher who implemented something like that and there weren’t any checks along the way?” asked a woman.
“You know what the problems are. Do what needs to be done, fund the departments, get the staff, make a change,” said another woman.
Some of the speakers also brought up the blackface incident at Bullard High School last year, calling it a pattern of racially-charged problems within the district.
They hope the school board will work with the teachers association and the community to come up with a solution.