Monday, December 09, 2019

Mass.: Review recommends Cambridge schools alter policies after use of N-word at a panel discussion

Must not use n-word even when you are discussing it

Cambridge school officials should consider several policy changes, including creating a student complaint form, after a white School Committee member used the N-word during a classroom discussion about racial language, according to a report on the incident.

The report, written by the Boston law firm Louison, Costello, Condon & Pfaff LLP, followed a review of the January episode in a US honors history class at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, the city’s only public high school.

It also said school officials should consider modifying a district policy “to include specific examples of what may be deemed controversial.”

The controversy began Jan. 10 during a panel discussion in Kevin Dua’s US History II honors class. School officials, including School Committee member Emily Dexter, who is white, participated in the event, which included a discussion of why the district’s computers block certain websites that include some slurs but not others.

According to the law firm’s review, no guidelines were given to the speakers on what they could or could not say.

The report noted that following the event, Dexter sent Dua an e-mail that stated, in part: “I feel bad if I caused harm to students or adult guests or you by pronouncing the n-word. Ignorant of me. Will know better going forward.”

In the aftermath of the panel discussion, Dexter publicly apologized and met with the class. “I knew immediately it was a mistake,” she said earlier this year.

The panel discussion was held weeks after Dua launched his students on a project to study the US roots of racist language.

The project was titled “RECLAIMING [N-word] v. Cracker: Editing Racial Context In/For Cambridge.” It used the full spelling of the N-word.

The goal was to explore how the power of racial language has shaped the nation — through laws, protests, and content on social media — since the Civil War, according to an e-mail Dua sent to School Committee members.

But while doing their research, Dua said, students discovered that the school-issued Chromebook computers block websites that include some racial slurs, such as the N-word and cracker, a disparaging term for white people, but not other terms.

The filters prevent students from viewing objectionable Internet content — determined by the software vendor — like racial slurs, pornography, and unsafe material, a schools spokeswoman told the Globe earlier this year.


1 comment:

Bird of Paradise said...

N word well blacks will find some funny N worlds like NINNY,NIT-WIT and NUTCASE very amusing