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Dear Decaturish – Things I don’t like about the racist slur incident at Decatur High

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Dear Decaturish – Things I don’t like about the racist slur incident at Decatur High

Tiffany Tesfamichael. Photo provided to Decaturish
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Dear Decaturish,

I don’t like that things escalated to a point where this physics teacher has to take a symbolic fall for all the sins ever committed by City Schools of Decatur.

I don’t like the idea that these kids have been so mishandled they now need a victim to feel validated.

I don’t like how Principal Rochelle Lofstrand was treated during the dialog I observed with students.

I don’t like the idea that if this man was Black and called these kids out in his class, this would be a non-event.

I don’t like that certain individuals and organizations have already begun sending branded messaging and bending the students’ issues to fit their agenda.

I don’t like how deeply this situation has been exploited for the wrong reasons.

I don’t like that no one made much noise to prevent the dismissal of my daughter’s one Black teacher during 8th grade (i.e., she was a math teacher…a subject some might say is equally difficult as physics).

I don’t like how so many true villains are hiding in plain sight because no one recorded them.

I don’t like how these villains are often assigned to equity or diversity committees instead of walking in full accountability for their actions.

I don’t like how it’s sexier to sensationalize the downfall of this teacher’s career instead of sensationalizing how maybe these kids just didn’t like that it was a non-Black man instead of a Black man criticizing their use of a racial slur.

I don’t like how a very important issue is obscured in this chaos… that is, the issue of hiring/retaining enough Black teacher talent to fully share in the hard work of speaking candidly to Black learners who need to see themselves represented.

There’s so much here I just don’t like.

— – Dr. Tiffany Tesfamichael, a City Schools of Decatur parent

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