There are things you do to the poor and people of color that you would never do to people you consider valuable.
I submit to you a guy in Nashville who is a teacher, former union president, big time supporter of school board members who work as board level agents for the teachers’ union, and more recently, a man charged with possession of methamphetamine.
Look for the nugget in this story from WKRN that tells the tale of how systemic inequity works in public education:
Stephen Henry, 55, was arrested June 13 in Robertson County.
According to Henry’s personnel file, while he was teaching at Dan Mills Elementary School in 2017, nine parents complained to the principal about him.
The complaints were about Henry’s behavior. The parents said he wasn’t teaching fourth-grade math to his students and instead let them watch YouTube videos and allowed chaos in his classroom.
Henry was transferred from Dan Mills to Johnson Alternative Learning Center on September 11, 2017.
The reason listed on his transfer form says “budget cuts.” After News 2 asked multiple questions about this, a school spokesperson confirmed the real reason for the transfer was because of the parent complaints.
Johnson ALC is for Metro students who might otherwise be expelled from school because of their behavior.
Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway wrote a letter to Metro’s Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Monique Felder, last year about concerns she had about Johnson.
News 2 told her Stephen Henry had been transferred to Johnson after he was reported for bad behavior at Dan Mills.
“What it says to me is that the school says we have these problem teachers let’s just send them to the school that has the problem children,” she told News 2. “It’s that population of youth that you want to have some of your best teachers working because they are at that point where they can be rehabilitated, they can be changed.”
Did you catch the detail that should be objectionable to everyone?
After 9 parents complain this teacher gets quietly moved out of Dan Mills Elementary School, where students are 65% white and there is an outrageous gap in academic outcomes where black kids get the worst of it.
Henry is moved to Johnson Alternative Learning Center where 80% of the students are black, 77% are male, and 96% are low-income.
Only 7% of students at Johnson are white.
And that’s where you send the teacher who is not good enough for the white school; the teacher with behavior flags popping up all over the place; the teacher who will be arrested for meth possession.
Because not all lives matter.