/  10.16.2020

A Florida teacher is now under investigation after telling students she has “as much right as anybody else to dislike Blacks” during a virtual class. The Zoom lesson, which was recorded and shared on Twitter, showed teacher Tracey Brown criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement and admonishing students for supporting it during a heated conversation about social justice.

“You’re implying that Black lives are more important than anyone else and I have a problem with that,” Brown can be heard telling one student.

“There’s some Black people that live in communities where the cops do not treat them right,” a pupil named David interjects.

In response, Brown yells, “Stop right there, David. Stop! I wanna be very clear. What you don’t know about me could fill a friggen’ swimming pool.”

Brown goes on to say, “I was 16 years old and I was attacked on a MARTA train by a gang. And yes, [a] gang — wearing bandanas, gang sings, language — of Blacks. In Metro Atlanta.” 

“I have as much right as anybody else to dislike Blacks for what happened to me,” she continued. “So, you don’t get to sit there and preach to me what I do and don’t know.”

Brown later added, “However, I’m a little bit more educated than probably the average member of that gang put together, even when I was 16. Because I was in school, and I read, and I talk to people. And I was raised [to know] that skin tone is nothing but pigment; it has nothing to do with who you are on the inside.”

Several students and administrators at Poinciana High School were concerned by Brown’s comments and she has since been removed from her classroom. Brown will not work with her students again until the school district has finished their investigation into the incident.

“This is a learning environment for our students and we have to make sure we are able to maintain that learning environment for them and make sure it is one they can truly learn in,” Tamika Lyles — a fellow Poinciana teacher and president of the Osceola County Democratic Black Caucus told Spectrum News 13. “… Not one that we are inserting so much of our opinion in it ’til we tarnish the learning aspect.”

The superintendent of Osceola County schools, Dr. Debra Pace, also addressed the situation in a statement, saying, “Racism, intolerance and injustice have no place in our communities or in our schools. We will not tolerate behavior by students or staff which insults, degrades, or stereotypes any race, gender, disability, physical condition, ethnic group, religion, or sexual orientation.”

See clips from the Zoom class on Twitter below.


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