NORMAN, Okla. – A Norman North High School teacher is instructing students that “to be white is to be racist, period.”
A student at the school who did not want to be identified recently used her cell phone to record a classroom lecture at Norman North High School in which her teacher, who also is not identified, explained how to “heal the racial divide,”KFOR reports.
The girl alerted her parents to her teacher’s troubling comments and they in turn contacted district officials to demand answers.
The lecture began with a video about the “Mistreatment of Native Americans” that prompted the student to record the lesson and ended with the teacher’s lecture about racism.
In the video, a man “pulls out this globe with a bottle of white out and marks over a country or a piece of country and puts his name on it,” the student said.
“So he was basically comparing what he had done to the globe to what we did to America,” she said.
When her teacher laid out his theories of racism afterwards, the student said she was stunned.
“To be white is to be racist, period,” the teacher said in the recording. “Am I racist? I say yea. I don’t want to be. It’s not like choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised?”
The student was naturally offended by her teacher labeling her a racist.
“Half of my family is Hispanic so I just felt like, you know, him calling me a racist just because I’m white … I mean, where’s your proof in that,” the girl said. “I felt like he was encouraging people to kind of pick on people for being white.”
Her father wasn’t impressed, either, and he contacted school officials and the media to alert them about the situation.
“Why is it okay to demonize one race to children that you are supposed to be teaching a curriculum to?” he asked KFOR.
The family posed that question to the school district, which claims the lecture was simply sharing one of several “perspectives” on racism. The student thinks many of her classmates took the lecture as fact, and the teacher should make it clear that’s not the case.
“You start telling someone something over and over again that’s an opinion and they start taking it as fact,” the student told the news site. “So I wanted him to apologize and make it obvious and apparent to everyone that was his opinion.”
Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joe Siano offered a statement to the news site that blamed the teacher, but did not offer any details on what, if any, disciplinary action the teacher would face.
“Racism is an important topic that we discuss I our schools. While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended,” the statement read.
“We regret that the discussion was poorly handled. When the district was notified of this concern it was immediately addressed. We are committed to ensuring inclusiveness in our schools.”
KFOR attempted to contact the teacher, but was unsuccessful.