Former and current students of Palatine High School in Illinois were outraged when they saw a now-deleted Facebook post on a social studies teacher’s page.
Aaliyah Holloway, a former student, stated: “They should take immediate action on the teacher so that the school knows they are indeed backing up black people and they are in support. Because letting her go under investigation I feel it’s not enough. It’s not enough.”
The post read in part: “I find the term “white privilege” as racist as the “N” word. You have not walked in my shoes either so do not make assumptions about me and my so called privilege. You think America is racist? Then you have been hoodwinked by the white liberal establishment and race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.”
“That is in no relation the same as saying the N-word,” Holloway stated. “That just shocked me. It’s not the same.”
Amirah Nasirm, a class 2012 graduate, stated: “As awful as it was, it was not surprising coming from her because she’s had a history of posting severely problematic things on her Facebook for years.”
District 211 released a statement addressing the incident: “The administration was made aware of a social media post made by a staff member. The posting has been removed, and we are currently conducting an investigation and will follow through with appropriate measures. The statements in the post do not reflect the values or principles of District 211. We are truly sorry for any harm or disrespect that this may have caused.”
Tim McGowan, a Palatine resident and parent who assisted in organizing a Black Lives Matter rally in Palatine, said: “I grew up here. My white friends often will interact with the law enforcement on my behalf, because they know and they recognize that it’s at least likely that the situation will escalate with them then it will with me. That’s white privilege. It’s a privilege I don’t have.”
McGowan called for the teacher’s termination.
“She’s in charge of molding minds. I don’t think she’s suitable to do that anymore. Before we can heal, we kind of got to admit where flaws are. We have to point out the problems. We have to point out the issues. But prior to that, we’re not going to heal,” he said.
He expressed his hope that the issue would be addressed at the next virtual school board meeting. He stated that he wanted the district to address the current hiring practices, implement culturally responsive professional development, and create a more inclusive curriculum.