Where it all began…
“Mom, the teacher gave us a reading with the ‘N-word,’ and the other kids were saying it.” Sensing my shock and disbelief, my child pulled out the reading. Sure enough, there it was… several times, several spellings, italicized, and in all caps for emphasis.
I spoke with the teacher to share my concern. She struggled to understand the impact of the misstep. I explained the impact. I even offered to help. I was optimistic that the administration’s involvement would resolve the situation.
That was, until, my child came home the next week. My child reported that the teacher taught a lesson listing terminology to identify African-Americans, including variations of the N-word. During the lesson, the teacher singled out the only two African-American students (one of which was my child) and asked how they wanted the class to refer to them.
The administration hesitated in it’s response, which was at times inadequate and detrimental. Realizing that the administration was struggling, I renewed my offer to help the school. I used my background as an attorney, mediator, educator, and parent to provide suggestions. The administration and I worked together to fulfill all 8 of my recommendations. My professional experience helped the school provide a more meaningful response, reach more satisfactory resolutions, and put policies and practices in place to prevent a repeat situation.
This experience motivated me to start Inclusive Resolutions, LLC. Often after these incidents, the focus immediately shifts to long term solutions, while pain and resentment fester. My goal is to create avenues for healing for both sides, as well as long term solutions.
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