A Tale of Two Teachers

by Mona Charen


This is quite a snapshot of America. Here is the story of a teacher in the Fairfax County Virginia schools who was placed on administrative leave — she is out of the classroom — because she asked a black student to read a poem by Langston Hughes with a “blacker” dialect. 

“Read it blacker,” she reportedly instructed the 9th grader, “I thought you were black.”

Outrage. Press coverage. Teacher yanked from the classroom before she can do more damage to the psyches of high school students.

Here is the poem. Raise your hand if you think the teacher who assigned this poem is a racist. If the class were reading a poem by Sholem Aleichem and the teacher asked a Jewish student to read it with a Yiddish inflection, would that be cause for instant disciplinary action? Isn’t this the “diversity” the liberals are always clamoring for?

I happen to be involved in the case of another Fairfax County teacher — one who repeatedly fails to show up for work, does not teach when he is on the premises, is verbally abusive to students, has been accused of unethical behavior on a number of fronts, and endangered the life of a child on a field trip by failing to seek medical attention when the kid fell (he had a ruptured spleen and might have died had a parent chaperone not taken him to the hospital on her own authority). 

This teacher, we are told by the administration, has a “right” to his job and will be returning to the classroom this week after being out on “disability” since last June. Parents are in an uproar. But the Fairfax County schools are saying there is nothing they can do.

This is the way we live now.

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