Despite the student denying responsibility for the incident, the teacher took the word of another student, who was reportedly white.
An elementary school teacher in Denver has been fired after allegedly making a 6-year-old African-American child clean up feces off the floor of the school bathroom. A report by Chalkbeat states that the kindergarten teacher believed a white student's claim over the other child's. The incident has been touted as an example of the racial bias that exists in Denver's public schools.
A teacher at a public elementary school in northeast Denver was terminated after allegedly making a 6-year-old African-American boy clean up another student's feces. https://t.co/VQUhgfYLr9— FOX31 Denver KDVR (@KDVR) June 7, 2019
The incident took place in May at Stedman Elementary, which is located in the North Park Hill area.
Community activist Hasira Ashemu accompanied the 6-year-old child's family during a meeting with school officials. As per reports, the teacher in question found feces on the floor of the bathroom and questioned several students about who was responsible. A white student reportedly pawned the blame on the African-American student.
Any teacher that would make a 6 year old clean up crap whether their Black or White is wrong!! She deserved to be terminated!— James (@1Carp777) June 7, 2019
The teacher, who is not Black, then made the African-American student clean up the feces despite the fact that the unnamed 6-year-old child denied any responsibility on the matter.
Do better Colorado. We can't start looking like Oklahoma.— coleman dennis (@colemandennis2) June 7, 2019
Ashemu, who is the director of advocacy for the community group Our Voice Our School, said that the teacher's actions were a clear example of implicit bias. "This has caused a great amount of anguish with the family," said Ashemu. "You teach your children, especially black boys, to listen to the teacher so as not to be targeted for disciplinary issues."
Time to shut down Denver's public schools until we can figure out what the Hell is going on.— Smirkin' Kirk Widlund (@KirkKNUS) June 7, 2019
Denver Public School officials immediately looked into the matter and then went forward with terminating the teacher. In a statement released on Thursday, the school said that "the employee will not return to the school district". The statement also said: "Our commitment to equity and training, such as implicit bias training, is stronger than ever. We know that a culturally responsive mindset is necessary for all of our students to thrive."
Details of the teacher who was terminated have not been released as personal information is kept confidential by law.
Making a 6 year old clean up someone else’s shit? I think it is news. She believed the white kid who said he didn’t do it but she didn’t believe the black kid. The teacher made it about race.— numbersahead (@Michele17722492) June 7, 2019
The family of the 6-year-old African-American child has planned on keeping him at Stedman Elementary next year. Ashemu told Chalkbeat that he is supportive of the leadership at the school and is very satisfied by the way the incident was handled.