Teacher Accused of Racial Discrimination on Paid Leave

CBS Minnesota, January 30, 2012

A St. Paul teacher is on paid leave after being accused of racial discrimination in his own classroom.

Parents of some black students said their children have faced discrimination for months at the Heights Community School.

Latasha Tolbert said sixth grade teacher Tim Olmsted told her daughter that she’d be standing on the corner with a sign begging for money on the expressway.

“He told the whole entire class that it is easier for him to teach rich white folks than poor black people,” Tolbert said.

Tolbert said the discrimination started in her daughter’s class months ago. At the time, five of the students in Olmsted’s class were black. Tolbert said all of them were singled out at some point for the color of their skin.

Meg Kane is an education attorney representing three of the families involved. She said none of the kids have been in trouble at school before.

The children told Kane that all of them had to sit at the back of the class. Kane said Olmsted called them “fat, black and stupid,” and said such things as: “You will never amount to anything” and “You only have one parent.”

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[Editor’s Note: A video report of this story can be viewed at the original article link below.]

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