Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First Grade racism?!

I apologize to those that may have heard this story.  I felt that at some point in my life it needed to be blogged.  I am therefore blogging this blog now.  Blog.
This story happened three years ago during my second year of teaching.  The names have been changed to protect Kayden and Alexandria. (The actual children in the story.)  
Me: Class, we would like to welcome Maria into our class.  She is a new student and we need to make her feel welcome.  Maria, will you come up please? [Maria comes up]
Me... again: Hello Maria.  Welcome to our class.  What is your last name Maria?  [Maria is a Hispanic child that has not learned much English yet.  She stands and stares, dumbfounded at my question.]
Me: Maria, do you know your last name?  [Just stands and stares.]
Kevin [Sitting in front row]: IT'S PROBABLY ON HER GREEN CARD!
Me: KEVIN! Why did you say that?!  I need to talk to you in the hall right now!
[Kevin and I venture into the hall.]
Me: Kevin, I have never heard anything so rude.  Why would you say something so cruel?
[Kevin now looks like Maria.  He just shrugs his shoulders and stares.]
Me: Kevin!?  Why would you say that about Maria?!
Kevin: [Almost whispering]: Well, I thought her name might be on her green card.  You know, the ones we take to the office if people aren't here.
- Our attendance cards were green this year. -
Me: Oh Kevin, I am soooo sorry.  I thought you meant that she... I thought you were saying that Maria's name would be...Oh, nevermind Kevin.  I really didn't mean to get angry with you.  I am really, really sorry.
Kevin [Still a bit stunned as he rarely, if ever got in trouble.  Especially the kind of trouble in which Mr. Yospe turns into a raging maniac.]: It's okay.
Me: Really?  Are you alright Kevin?  I am really sorry I got that mad.
Kevin: Yeah, I'm okay.
I should have known that a First Grader wouldn't know what a green card is.
I was a little concerned however when Kevin brought a long, white, pointed hood for show and tell the next day.
Also, looking back at my play, I now realize that Maria does not have any speaking parts.  The main crux of the role is to be able to stand and look confused.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Abe I don't know if you'll read this since it's a few days past the post but I am laughing hysterically at this one!!!!!!!!!