Teacher Aaron Benner Allegedly Victim of Trumped-Up Investigation After Speaking Out On Racial Equity Policies

Jun 19, 2015 by

A teacher in St. Paul appears to be in hot water with the district for breaking ranks.

A teacher in St. Paul appears to be in hot water with the district for breaking ranks.

As the Star Tribune reports, teacher Aaron Benner believes he is the victim of trumped-up investigations by the St. Paul Public Schools for his opposition to the district’s racial equity policies. One of the investigations was for “breaching confidentiality rules [when Benner called] the parent of a girl who he said was knocked to the floor by a boy and dazed for 10 seconds in September.”

St. Paul’s racial equity policies are in part a response to the high suspension rate of black students. The policies presume that the black suspension rate is rooted in teacher prejudices and lack of cultural awareness. As a result, the district has hindered teachers’ ability to remove disruptive students from class, has focused on educating teachers about institutional racism, and has reminded teachers that they need to “examine the presence and role of ‘whiteness.’”

According to a recent City Pages article, the policies have created a culture of “chaos” in St. Paul schools in which many students and teachers do not feel safe.

Benner argues “that the district’s push to reduce suspensions too often fails to hold black children accountable for classroom disruptions.” As he told the school board in May of last year, “Refusing to work is not black culture… Assaulting your teacher is not black culture.”

Source: Saint Paul Teacher Aaron Benner Allegedly Victim of Trumped-Up Investigation After Speaking Out On Racial Equity Policies | Better Ed

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