Teacher should not be fired for Mexican parenting comment (Opinion)
A teacher in Vineland has been pulled off her job after the district felt a social media post regarding the missing 5 year old girl from Bridgeton was too "offensive." According to the Daily Journal, Jennifer Hewitt Bishop is an in-class resource teacher for the Vineland Public School District and now faces disciplinary action for writing what the district calls an "offensive, inflammatory, and entirely unacceptable" Facebook post about the case.
In the case of missing Dulce Alavez, police say the girl's mother waited in the car while her 3 year old and 5 year old played on a playground with storage buildings nearby. Another person on Facebook questioned why the mother would let the children on the playground while remaining in her car.
Answering that comment, Bishop wrote, "They're Mexican, it's their culture. They don't supervise their children like we do."
That, apparently, was all it took.
Now if you break this down, if you really want to carefully analyze this, can't your takeaway be that she is trying to put the other commenter in their place and telling them not to be so judgmental? She never wrote that it was irresponsible or wrong or reckless or criminal. She just made her own observation that in her opinion there's a cultural difference in the level of supervision of children.
Would she be in trouble had she phrased it in the following way?
Don't judge this mother, she's from a different culture, one that in my anecdotal experience doesn't seem to bubble wrap and helicopter parent their children at every turn the way white people do.
Because it was in response to someone who was clearly calling out the mother, I believe that was her intent. She simply said it in a manner that wasn't artful.
If this is all she wrote, and she didn't write it in the name of the school where she works or in the capacity of a teacher but rather a private citizen, is this something she should be disciplined over?
Some may compare this to the Facebook rants of disgraced teacher Vicki Knox from the Union Township School District. They would be wrong to do so. That was the case of Knox, an extremely religious woman, making controversial and disparaging remarks about gay people on her personal Facebook page. She was fired. The big difference in that case was she openly ranted about her own school's anti-bullying policy when it came to LGBT students. Not only did she bring her own school to task, according to court papers her behavior was brought inside the classroom. There were accusations of her denying services to a special needs student because they were wearing a gay pride bracelet. Openly denouncing homosexuality in front of her students is another example from court documents.
This case is different. To me, this case of a comment regarding cultural differences in parenting styles should have been met with merely a talking to; a stern watch yourself, things can be misconstrued type of talk. Nothing more. Let us know what you think in our poll below.
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