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Racist comments from a male senior, what should we do?

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Replies to: Racist comments from a male senior, what should we do?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22972 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Likewise if someone made the comment about books "from her own country" I would not have been insulted either. I would just assume that the teacher was not aware of where my D was born

    The teacher knew my child was Chinese (I'm not Chinese) and was definitely making a remark that if only I had books about China my child would be reading. This teacher did not like my daughter, and didn't like the other minority kids in the class either, even the girl who was the top student in the class. It was pretty obvious to all. A year after my kids had her, she was forced to retire by other parents who had had enough (private school where some parents, not me, had a lot of power).

    While it may be unfair, minority students do have to learn to deal with a lot of comments on their own. My daughter couldn't possibly have reported every incident to school authorities and expected a smooth ride through high school. When she was younger, we actually worked on how to respond to comments. She could walk away, she could confront the individual (such as suggested above "I can't believe you said that"), she could choose not to interact with the person again. If physical or threatening, she could (and should) report it. She couldn't be battling every single thing another person said to her. Even within our family things were (and still are) said that are racist and not nice (my father is more like Archie Bunker than anyone cares to admit), or are sometimes just teasing. When she was very young and my brothers were teasing, I'd let it go until I felt she'd had enough and stop it. Each interaction she became a little stronger, a little less likely to take the teasing as a personal attack. They teased my other daughter too, and nothing would have hurt my Chinese daughter more than to not be treated as an equal to her sister and cousins. She had NO sense of humor (she was not an infant at adoption) and had to work on it or her life would have been miserable. Now she has a pretty good sense of what she must ignore and when she should speak up, and an even better sense of when she should just walk away. It is a rare comment that she reports to authorities.
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  • carolinamom2boyscarolinamom2boys 6895 replies223 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It is quite disconcerting that administration has known about it, and not dealt with it. That would never fly at my kid's school.
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some commenters here have cited the First Amendment in the Constitution and "free speech"....while forgetting 2 things:

    1. That mainly applies to government attempts to suppress speech....especially political speech by private citizens, entities, etc. It doesn't apply to private individuals, institutions, or even employers...including public sector employers in employment or certain academic situations*.

    2. Even some of the founding fathers did not necessarily agree with the idea of "laughing off/ignoring" insults. In fact, a one doing so....especially if one was part of the upper/upper-middle classes back in their time period would have been considered tantamount to admitting the insulter was correct and being socially ostracized accordingly as well as for "cowardice" for not demanding satisfaction from the insulter in the form of a duel which could end with one or both duelists greviously injured or even killed outright.

    This was the reason why insults...even ones we'd consider innocuous in our day usually prompted challenges to a dual to the insulter by the insulted....and sometimes men...including well-educated pillars of the community like Alexander Hamilton found themselves compelled by prevailing social convention to participating in duals...and in his case...dying from it.

    * Providing a safe secure educational environment for all students...including those from marginalized groups.
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  • dyiu13dyiu13 2811 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Someone mentioned above that European Americans were never interned in the U.S. They were: German- and Italian-Americans individuals during wartime. I'm unclear if this includes only immigrant residents or US citizens. The US also interned Germans from Latin America. Maybe some who knows their history can fill in beyond the smidge of info I know.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78232 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    dyiu13 wrote:
    Someone mentioned above that European Americans were never interned in the U.S. They were: German- and Italian-Americans individuals during wartime. I'm unclear if this includes only immigrant residents or US citizens. The US also interned Germans from Latin America. Maybe some who knows their history can fill in beyond the smidge of info I know.

    In WW2, a small number of people of German and Italian ancestry were interned; almost all were not US citizens, and their cases were considered individually (based on activities indicating potential national security risk, not just ethnic ancestry or nationality of an enemy nation), although there were some due process questions. Note that this was done to a small number persons of Japanese ancestry as well, before Executive Order 9066 forced all persons of Japanese ancestry to leave the western mainland or move to relocation camps.

    Yes, this means that Executive Order 9066 was useless, wasteful, and counterproductive, since those actually believed to be national security risks as individuals were already being detained or kept under watch.
    edited May 2016
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  • TigerleTigerle 385 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 2016
    Thank you ucbalumnus, that was enlightening.
    So German-Americans and Italian-Americans were detained on an individual basis based on lack of citizenship status/perceived national security risk.
    Japanese-Americans were forced to relocate/detained in camps wholesale, because of their ethnicity. I am sure it was unconstitutional at the time.
    It's easier if you can tell a person is "other" just by looking at them, right? Try doing that with persons of German ancestry in the US.
    edited May 2016
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  • TigerleTigerle 385 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    To those who still feel the young mans comment was an anti immigrant opinion as opposed to a racist slur:
    Do you think he might have made the same comment if the OPs daughter, who was born to a US American father and a Chinese mother in Hong Kong, had been born to a US-American father and an ethnically English or Irish mother inLondon or Dublin?
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  • CTTCCTTC 2176 replies132 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @kchendds
    This guys has very little friends and my daughter probably is his only female friend.
    By following your breadcrumbs, I think I've figured out who this young man is. It doesn't seem like he would have few friends (considering one of his ECs).

    If your d and h really wanted to teach him a lesson, then how about notifying the committee/people that selects the valedictorian? If the administration knows what he's like, then why would they want to pick this boy? And after notifying them of yet another transgression, wouldn't this knock him out of the running?
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  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus 1175 replies46 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @cobrat, the First Amendment is directly applicable here. Can a public high school stop a student from saying things? It can stop racial harassment, but some others here were saying that the guy shouldn't be allowed to speak generally in favor of enforcing immigration laws, which isn't so. Speaking about a political issue is exactly what the First Amendment protects, so going after the harasser should be limited to stopping the racist harassment.
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  • worth2tryworth2try 893 replies38 threadsRegistered User Member
    This thread is an eye opener. I wish I could unread it.
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  • TigerleTigerle 385 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    "Yes @coolweather he's known for being racist and sexist but he had never attacked anyone directly like he did to my daughter. Even he might have but no one has come forward and said anything. Daughter actually had a small talk with the councelor (not a complaint btw) and asked for advice. He even said that guy was just being a guy acting immaturely. School officials know how he is obviously. I guess it's all settled and my problem is solved because H didn't blow up the case at the end.

    P.S. This guys has very little friends and my daughter probably is his only female friend. So I doubt he would have too much opportunity to offend people. He does it in social science class but you get to voice your own opinion, don't you?"

    Pomona class of 2020: acceptance rate at a record low of 9.1 percent.
    Ten applicants for every place and this was the best they could do?
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78232 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    Tigerle wrote:
    So German-Americans and Italian-Americans were detained on an individual basis based on lack of citizenship status/perceived national security risk.

    Yes (also some of Japanese ancestry as well, on an individual basis, before Executive Order 9066).
    Tigerle wrote:
    Japanese-Americans were forced to relocate/detained in camps wholesale, because of their ethnicity.

    Yes, by Executive Order 9066, if they were unable to move out of the western mainland on short notice.
    Tigerle wrote:
    I am sure it was unconstitutional at the time.

    In 1944, the US Supreme Court sided 6-3 with the government in ruling that the exclusion of persons of Japanese ancestry from the western mainland in Executive Order 9066 was constitutional in Fred Korematsu versus United States.
    Tigerle wrote:
    It's easier if you can tell a person is "other" just by looking at them, right? Try doing that with persons of German ancestry in the US.

    It was also easier to indulge in a taste of racism when the targeted group was small enough that the disruption to society and economy was relatively small to others (unlike if an exclusion order were written for persons of German or Italian ancestry generally in the US, or persons of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii).
    edited May 2016
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    @cobrat, the First Amendment is directly applicable here. Can a public high school stop a student from saying things? It can stop racial harassment, but some others here were saying that the guy shouldn't be allowed to speak generally in favor of enforcing immigration laws, which isn't so. Speaking about a political issue is exactly what the First Amendment protects, so going after the harasser should be limited to stopping the racist harassment.

    The issue is the statement the kid made went well-beyond merely making a political statement.

    Once he personalized it towards OP's D by saying SHE should be deported, that crosses the line from making a political statement into making a personal racist attack which would be a violation of many high school conduct codes regarding racist behavior, harassment, etc.

    If he had merely said all illegal immigrants should be deported, THAT would have been a political statement.


    Recent Supreme Court rulings have found that while students have First Amendment rights, it is more limited than the general public at large as the public schools have a compelling interest in enacting limits in the interest of fulfilling their mission of providing a safe secure environment conducive and that "consciously or otherwise, teachers—and indeed the older students—demonstrate the appropriate form of civil discourse and political expression by their conduct and deportment in and out of class":

    Bethel School District v. Fraser

    Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier

    Morse v. Frederick

    That's not to say I necessarily agree 100% with the rulings in these three cases. However, these cases do demonstrate how courts have felt the need to allow for school districts to balance their students First Amendment rights with their compelling need to provide a safe secure educational environment and education for K-12 students.
    edited May 2016
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  • bhs1978bhs1978 665 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    Bravo Corinthian. There's a lot we don't know about this one sided story. Did this even happen on school property? What led up to this comment? Highly doubtful that this was a random out of the blue comment I'm guessing there was some sort of conversation or altercation leading to regretful things being said. Did OP's daughter call him out on Pamona not even being safety worthy? Did she call him out for claiming to be partially Hispanic.? Did she make comment that he shouldn't be valedictorian because she took harder classes? All of these things would be offensive to this guy. Not saying she did but I don't believe nothing happened just because "my daughter told me"
    Kids tell half truths all the time to skew an incident in their favor. Drop it and move on. AND NO that does not mean I am teaching my children to accept racism as someone accused earlier.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @Tigerle, if no one reports his behavior (assuming it is a violation of rules at their HS) and no disciplinary action is taken, then how would Pomona know? People like this count in the fact that it Is a hassle to get them in trouble. And they go on to repeat the behavior again and again.
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