VA teacher placed on leave for telling student to read ‘blacker’
A Virginia teacher who requested that an African-American student read a poem in class in a “blacker” style has been placed on administrative leave Tuesday evening, according to The Washington Post.
Marilyn Bart, an English teacher at George C. Marshall High School in Fairfax Country, told 14-year-old Jordan Shumate last week that she wasn’t impressed with his reading of Langston Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord.”
“She told me, ‘Blacker, Jordan — c’mon, blacker,'” Shumate said. “‘I thought you were black.'”
When he refused his teacher’s request, Shumate said that Bart started to “read the poem like a slave, basically.”
Shumate, who was the only African-American in class, indicated that such stereotyping by Bart wasn’t an isolated incident. He told reporters Bart also asked him to explain the stereotype behind grape soda and African-Americans to the class.
Fairfax County’s school system is investigating into the matter. Bart’s attorney Bill Reichhardt said his client is fully cooperating with the officials.
WATCH: Video from WJLA-TV, from March 15, 2012.