Community and church leaders are protesting in Fresno, Calif., over the hiring of a white teacher at the new Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School.
The white instructor will be teaching three cultural studies classes: African-American, Latino and Southeast Asian.
Last week, Rev. Karen Crozier led a group of protesters outside of the Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School (video below).
The protesters want the Fresno Unified School District to hire teachers who physically reflect the ethnic and racial background of students.
"We're just saying what the community wants. We didn't fight for a white male or female teacher to educate our babies," Rev. Crozier told the Fresno Bee. "We still are at these racial fault lines, and we want someone who will be able to think critically about those racial fault lines and how do we help heal, to restore the problems that have existed."
However, Micheline Golden, of the Fresno Unified School District Chief Information Office, told ABC 30, "We choose the teacher with the best experience, the best certification and the best fit for each position. The teacher that was hired to teach cultural studies at Gaston has spent four years teaching African-American studies, the last 10 years teaching Latino studies."
"I do not believe colorism trumps qualifications," added School District Trustee Cal Johnson, who is African-American. "I don't care whether it's white, whether it's black, brown or yellow."
Rev. Paul McCoy, of New Light for New Life Church of God, met with the new white teacher last month and described him as "highly intelligent," but added, "We told him it's not about him."
"We're all faced today with so much dysfunction and violence from young people, and that violence is simply because they don't know who they are, they don't know where they come from," added Rev. McCoy. "They don't know the responsibility and accountability it takes to become a vital citizen in this country."