Society

Black Teacher Racially Harassed by Students, Sues School (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Dr. Cicely Cobb has been teaching English at Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee, Ariz., since 2012.

Cobb says she has been harassed since then by students and school administrators because she is black (video below).

"I do feel that I have been the victim of racial discrimination," Dr. Cobb told KPHO. "These children just had no respect for me or my authority."

In response to the alleged harassment, Dr. Cobb sued Tempe Union High School District in February, but the district denies her claims.

However, a video posted by a student on a social media site in January reportedly shows a second student walking up to Cobb and tapping her on the head with a bathroom pass.

One post on Twitter reportedly says Dr. Cobb should sign-up on an all-black dating site, while another is a racist black-face depiction of her.

"The minstrel photo was absolutely sick," Dr. Cobb told KPHO. "Minstrel jokes were associated with my grandfather who was born in 1912, that generation."

Another Twitter posted implied Dr. Cobb was working the streets as a prostitute.

"That comment to me, from my perception, was extraordinarily sexist, extraordinarily racist and, it hurt my heart," added Dr. Cobb.

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She claims that some parents have actually marked these racist Twitter posts as a "favorite."

Marshall Martin, Dr. Cobb's attorney, said since the lawsuit was filed in February students have been posting on Twitter with insulting pictures and videos.

"They've been taking pictures or video of Dr. Cobb," Marshall Martin, Cobb's attorney, told AZ Central. "A lot of this is happening during the school day when the students aren't even supposed to be on their phones. There is little if any discipline of students for that. As a result, Dr. Cobb's credibility and authority have been completely undermined by the administration."

The Progressive Christian Coalition has denounced the harassment against Dr. Cobb, but Rev. Oscar Tillman of the local NAACP is not supporting the teacher. He claims the school principal is willing to talk with Cobb "anywhere, anytime," but the school has refused to speak to the press.

Sources: KPHO and AZ Central