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Teacher shows students video of police shooting of Jacob Blake: 'It could frighten some people'

Posted at 6:26 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 12:55:29-04

MILWAUKEE — A teacher sparked concern after showing students a video of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

In a post shared by the Black Educators Caucus, the teacher assigned 9th grade students five follow up questions.

"They should’ve asked the parents first if it was okay, because you never know if a parent wanted their child to see that. It could frighten some people," said parent Sonja Malone.

"I would ask the parents to be at least notified at least 24 hours in advance or a couple of days in advance so that way the parents can make a decision, if they want their kid to see that or not," said another parent Jesus Cabrera.

The teacher's questions included: "Do you think the way the protests in Kenosha have gone (fires, vandalism, gun fire) is more helpful or harmful to the cause of social justice? How do you think you would handle a situation like the one in Kenosha if you were one of the police officers?"

"I think that they definitely were posed in a way that they wanted the students to elicit a certain response," said Angela Harris, Chairwoman of the Black Educators Caucus.

Harris understands teachers want to engage in conversations about current events and racism, but urges there is an appropriate way to do it that is not harmful to students.

That includes talking about systemic racism and not individual stories like Jacob Blake.

"It’s not allowing students to be critical of the system. It’s again just pairing it down to this one particular person this one particular incident and that’s not what we want our students to do at all. We want our students to become critical of the systems both historically and presently that they live in so that they can change them," said Harris.

Harris declined to say where the assignment was given or if it was an educator, student, or parent who alerted the caucus.

However, another source says the incident happened at Washington High School.

Milwaukee Public Schools sent TMJ4 News a statement saying:

"Milwaukee public schools is aware of the lesson that was given during a history class. This matter has been investigated and no further details can be provided at this time as this is a personnel manner."

The Black Educators Caucus says they are continuing to push for school districts to create anti-racism plans and policies to create a more inclusive environment for students and staff.

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