Race

Queens School Won’t Let Kids Recognize Malcolm X For Black History Month, Parents Say

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

New York City parents say that Public School 201 in Queens has barred their children from writing reports on Malcolm X for Black History Month because teachers say he’s a “violent” and “bad” historical figure.

Teachers at PS 201 refused to allow fourth graders to write about Malcolm X last week, the New York Daily News reported.

One boy’s mother, Cleatress Brown, 47, complained to Principal Rebecca Lozada Friday about the incident.

“I’m outraged,” Brown told the Daily News. “As a teacher, you’re imposing your opinion on a bunch of kids.”

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Brown asked her son to write the report anyway and turn it in to her.

“That’s what called learning,” she said.

Another parent said her 9-year-old son, who is not in Brown’s class, was also told he couldn’t write on Malcolm X.

The boy’s mother, Angel Minor, 33, said students were allowed to report on Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks or Malcolm X. The teacher quickly removed Malcolm X from the list.

“It was disrespectful to our history,” said Minor.

Officials for the City Department of Education said the agency is investigating the incidents.

“Malcolm X is a historical figure and a hero to many New Yorkers that we believe should be celebrated in our schools,” said agency spokesperson Devon Puglia.

About 43 percent of the student body at PS 201 is African-American. The school was given a C on its last city report card.

A California school came under fire last week for a similar Black History Month blunder.

Carondelet High School for Girls, a private, Christian school in Concord, issued a February lunch menu of fried chicken, cornbread, and watermelon to its students.

The school’s principal, Nancy Libby, issued an apology on Wednesday.

“I’d like to apologize for the announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members,” Libby said in a letter to parents. “Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetrate racial stereotypes.”

Sources: TIME, New York Daily News