Open mouth—insert foot…Robert Cecil who teaches ninth through tenth grade in Gainesville, Florida, was videotaped at the largest student body school in the area, stating, “If you’re black, and you say ‘n***a,’ but you don’t say ‘n****r, of great interest because I grew up 45 minutes from Gainesville, Florida. I grew up in a poverty-stricken southern culture, where it was rare for me to see any kind of racial discrimination. Some of my best friends were black, and we all saw each other’s hearts, not skin color. Growing up in one of the poorest counties (Putnam) in Florida taught me about compassion for other people. My family came from humble roots, and I understand the importance of supporting one another. I am deeply offended by racial slurs or any comments that are demeaning of another person.
’cause that’s like …” he says. I find this article It’s not only wrong to make comments like Cecil made, but it can cause significant harm to the bystanders who have heard these comments. Julie Crosby, a childhood student peer I attended school with in Interlachen, Florida, participated in the school board meeting addressing Cecil’s remarks in the schoolroom. Crosby stated, “There’s a connection between student achievement and the valuing of students of color; there is a connection between a student’s self-worth and achievement,” Crosby said. “And the fact that you can’t just simply give a public apology and give a statement … there’s a connection.”
When I read the actions of Crosby, I smiled. I have always remembered Julie Crosby, the big-hearted, sweet, female from my school days. She is often speaking up in defense of others who need a “voice.” When you have people who actively speak up about a “wrong,” the words can be metabolized by others. Taking action puts the ball in the court of those who can remedy behavior that is out of line with expected conduct.
Currently, there is no verdict as of this writing. The matter is still under investigation. Teachers are role models and often mentors to their students. We must ensure that children are taught their school lessons with respect and that students feel valued in school. I appreciate the investigation of Cecil’s comments, and I encourage others to speak up when they see someone acting inappropriately.
My career began when I spoke up about the employment of only five black employees out of about 500 white employees in a federal agency, in my local area. In a time of “division” in our country, we need more acts of kindness, tolerance, and empathy for others. To access all my articles I have written, check out https://goodmenproject.com/author/consultwithdawngmail-com
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