Parents are outraged after hearing what some middle school students are saying their black teacher forced only white kids to do in front of the class. They are demanding that the principal and school district answer for what some are considering to be a hate crime against white kids.
Multiple parents complained when they had heard that a black English Language Arts teacher, identified as Tarsha Clarke, made white students in her class stand up and apologize to non-white students for their “white privilege.” At a Rockingham County Board of Education meeting, parents stood up and voiced their outrage over the incident and the school’s handling of the situation.
During the meeting, a woman named Farren Wilkinson addressed the board. “I would like to know how our schools can allow an educator to humiliate, bully, and degrade children,” Wilkinson said. “This is not a matter of race but a matter of a teacher using fear and the embarrassment of children to satisfy her own personal anger or beliefs. These children are not responsible nor accountable for any inequalities that are believed to be present.”
“The actions of this educator does not provide safe, nurturing, dynamic, and integrative learning,” Wilkenson continued. “When the parents call to ask what has been done, they are being assured that this was taken care of. But, how was it taken care of? What did happen? What was her training? What was her consequences for this action? Because again, these children are not responsible for any inequalities that may exist in the school system nor should they be publicly humiliated among their peers for her own satisfaction.”
Some parents would say that Wilkinson’s statement to the school board was very restrained after hearing about the alleged actions of Tarsha Clarke and the school’s decision to keep her employed. The next parent to stand up, however, was not as patient with the school board or the allegedly racist teacher who singled out the white students in her class.
“Hello, my name is Robert Jeremy,” he said. “Common sense, when did it become a good idea to attack a child at a school because they were white, or they were black, or they were straight, or they were Christian? Or because they believed in something moral that they were taught at home? You see, I teach my child and my two older daughters family values, Christian values. I teach not to judge somebody by the color of their skin but by the color of their heart. And, my child will not be insulted, reprimanded, corrected because he has a good moral fiber.”
Stephanie Wray, the principal of Western Rockingham Middle School, was asked about the incident involving Tarsha Clarke forcing white students in her 6th-grade class to apologize for their “white privilege.” Wray issued a statement summarily denying that the incident ever occurred and confirmed that Clarke still retains her teaching position at the school.
“In regard to your additional requests, I can not speak on any individual, however, any allegations brought to our attention are investigated thoroughly and proper disciplinary action is taken if needed,” Wrey said. “Again, I can not speak regarding specific individuals due to personnel law, however, the particular incident you asked about was unfounded to happen at our school.”
U.S. Parents Involved in Education (USPIE), a non-profit grassroots organization of parents, released a statement slamming the broader environment. “This story is an example of a teacher clearly acting contradictory to the interests of the parents, apparently with support of the school leadership,” said Michigan PIE Chapter President Melanie Kurdys. “We support the teaching profession, but we are concerned that teacher preparation programs, conferences, and selected curriculum condone and encourage a particular political ideology.”
“It appears some teachers believe they are empowered to indoctrinate children by whatever means necessary,” Kurdys continued. “Our public schools should focus on teaching academics free of political bias. If public school leadership does not respond quickly and engage parents of all perspectives, enrollment will continue to decline. Parents will not allow their children to be bullied by the very people entrusted to educate them.”
It’s absolutely sickening to force students to stand up in front of their classmates to apologize for their skin color and being “over-privileged.” If that’s truly what Tarsha Clarke did, the parents of these students deserve answers and recourse against not only the teacher but also against the principal and school board who stood behind her.