Fairfax County Student Told To Read Poem 'Blacker' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Fairfax County Student Told To Read Poem 'Blacker'

Play associated audio
Travis Ekmark: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sayholatotravis/3796435103/

An investigation is underway at George C. Marshall High School, after a Fairfax County mom says her son was allegedly asked to speak "blacker" by a teacher during what the mother said was a lesson on stereotypes.

Nicole Page says it all started when an English teacher asked her son to read a Langston Hughes poem aloud.

Her ninth grade freshman son, Jordan Shumate, is the only African-American in the class. Page says when her son stopped and said he was uncomfortable with the dialogue, the teacher stepped in.

"She interrupted me after I finished the first stanza, and told me to read it 'blacker,'" recounts Jordan. "She said, 'Blacker, Jordan. Come on, I thought you were black.'"

And Page says this isn't the first incident of the teacher's cultural insensitivity, as reported by her son. She says there was a poem by Tupac Shakur that she wanted him to rap out.

For her part, Page says she is shocked: "Very sad, a mourning for my child's loss of innocence that he would have to experience something like this."

"The Marshall High School administrators are taking the accusations seriously and they are pursing the investigation vigorously," says Jon Torre, spokesman for Fairfax County Public Schools.

NPR

'Guardians' Director: This Movie Needed Me!

Morning Edition's David Greene talks to director James Gunn about his new film, Guardians of the Galaxy, which Marvel hopes to make its next big franchise. Characters include a raccoon and a tree.
NPR

Syracuse Researchers Melt Rock, Grill A Steak Over Magma

Researchers at the university built a furnace that can melt rock, then had a cookout. Chefs placed a ribeye on a grill over the 2,100-degree magma. Seconds later, a very charred, medium rare steak.
NPR

Assessing Obama's Foreign Policy After A Week Of Crises

Politico Magazine editor Susan Glasser and Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum talk with Linda Wertheimer about how the president's foreign policy moves are playing out at home and abroad.
NPR

Big Data Firm Says It Can Link Snowden Data to Changed Terrorist Behavior

For months, U.S. officials have said secret data from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was affecting the way terrorists communicate. A Massachusetts company says it has found proof.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.