By September 16, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Teacher Gives Class Racist Name

A class in this Texas elementary school was nicknamed 'Jighaboo'.

A class in this Texas elementary school was nicknamed ‘Jighaboo’.

In a Texas town located between Dallas and Fort Worth, there is a majority-minority school; that is, the school is one in which the majority of the student enrollment consists of minority races and/or ethnic groups. In an effort to create togetherness for sixth grade classes, nicknames were created for the classes and used during a team-building exercise. One group was named ‘Dream Team’; another was named ‘Jighaboo.’ The teacher for the latter group is white; the students in that class are white, African American, and Hispanic.

During one father’s chat with his son about the day’s activities, the father was shocked, appalled, and outraged to learn that the son’s class had been nicknamed ‘jighaboo.’ To confirm his son’s report, the father visited the school, and outside his son’s classroom, found a laminated sheet of white paper, bordered by green construction paper, tacked to the wall. The first sentence of the mantra-type sign contained the racial slur in reference to the class: “Mrs. (Teacher’s name) Jighaboos are at school today to achieve our 6th grade goals and prepare for 7th grade.”  The father photographed the sign and reported the transgression to school administrators.

When informed of the situation, the school administrators investigated. The sign was removed. A school district spokesperson said the teacher was mortified and cried, saying she   was unaware that jighaboo was a racist slur and didn’t mean any ill will by using it. Correctly spelled without the h, ‘jigaboo’ is a derogatory term with roots in slavery; it refers to a black person whose skin is too black and whose hair is too kinky for the person to be considered attractive; the person is totally undesirable.

In a statement, the school district said, “We would like to extend an apology for the inappropriate actions taken by one of our elementary teachers who failed to vet a class name. We take this situation seriously and the issue was immediate addressed with the principal and classroom teacher. Both the principal and the teacher have apologized to the parent reporting this concern.”

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