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.”

{snip}

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

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  • Frankly, w/audio and video cameras everywhere taping all our moves, I don’t see why parents don’t demand them in the classroom, to hear and see what their children hear and see. I’m sure it would be a eye opener for many parents with kids in government schools (i.e., “public” schools). They’d hear liberal teachers bring their BS PC agenda into English, History, Social Studies, and other classes. They’d hear their kids teased and bullied in classrooms and hallways by ghetto kids. 

    Most “public schools” (esp after leaving neighborhood grade schools) are suitable only for kids living in “public housing.” In Oakland, Asians and Caucasians flee public schools after grade school (after 5th grade), because that’s when busing & “diversity” kick in (see SF Chronicle article linked below). That’s when NAMs (non-Asian minorities) become their classmates. The NAMs mature physically earlier than Asians & Caucasians (and thus are larger, stronger, and more aggressive — “Men among boys”), and hate Asians & Caucasians.  That’s when the oppression, bullying, and attacks begin….
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/12/MNUP1GNRHS.DTL

    AmReners should push for audio & video monitoring of public classrooms. Parents of kids registered in a class could monitor from home via the internet live, or review the classes at night from home.

    • Anonymous

      That’s an excellent idea!  It’ll never happen though because it will end up costing government money through lawsuits rather than making money for them like the stoplight cameras paired with an extremely short yellow light do.

      People should push for this though, it can’t hurt.  Worst they can do is say no.

  • He shoudl have said it was easier to teach poor white kids than any black

  • 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.

    The daughter is in 6th grade.  That would probably make her about 12 years old.  By the time she’s 18, the Federal government will be insolvent, the EBT card will stop working.  So, yeah, that might be her future, if not literally her, then many like her.

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

    IOW, he told the truth, as much as that might hurt your feelings.  He might be the only American public school teacher not concerned about anyone’s self-esteem.

    The children told Kane that all of them had to sit at the back of the
    class.

    That is the only purported evidence of this teacher’s “discrimination” in the literal sense of the word, all other allegations are of his intemperate remarks.  And it’s not the worst thing in the world:  Blacks tend to want to sit in the back of the class anyway, because they think they can get away with more the more distant they are from the teacher’s eyes.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

       He might be the only American public school teacher not concerned about anyone’s self-esteem.

      Watch it!

  • Anonymous

    Circumstances of this event notwithstanding, isn’t paid leave just a vacation?

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      No.   

      In my district, teachers are “rubber roomed.”  Meaning they have to sit in the district’s downtown offices during working hours while whatever it is they’ve done (or said) is settled.  These “vacations” can be very costly as well, if one is White he will need an outside private attorney to defend him. 

      There is no Freedom of Speech in today’s Reign of PC Terror.  

      Teachers rubber roomed for the most innocuous actions or specious charges are treated as if they are child predators and known pedophiles.  This has happened to several male teachers I know, all of whom were cleared of charges and none of whom ever recovered from the experience.  Not one of the students who falsely accused these teachers was ever punished.

      Cameras in the classroom?  Bring it on.  I’d like the public to see how some of these little creeps act in the schools.

      Bon

      • Anonymous

        Administrative leave is actually in-school suspension for adults? That changes the game, doesn’t it?

        • Bon, From the Land of Babble

          No, they are taken out of the schools to “get them away from the children.” 

          No one is interested in THEIR side of the story.

          Look at the guy above– we haven’t heard his side of the story yet , have we?  Children DO lie, they do it all the time, often working in cahoots with one another — with all the backing of the media and educational system.

          That’s why accused teachers are sent to rubber rooms down town while an investigation is conducted.  Meanwhile, the media jump all over these cases, like the Duke non-rape case, make accusations, etc.  Children are always innocent victims, teachers, White teachers especially, evil racists.

          A detective told me once that ~ 99% are cleared very quickly because they’re about kids falsely accusing teachers to get them in trouble or get rid of them.  The most minor and minute accusations must be thoroughly investigated “just in case.”  

          Meanwhile nothing happens to the kid and he gets to gloat all over school that he got rid of “Mr. or Ms. so-and-so” and that everyone should thank him.

          I know this because I’ve witnessed it a number of times.

          I have written several letters in support of such falsely accused teachers — sent directly to detectives and judges.  One falsely accused teacher told me my letter is what helped clear him — this teacher died of a heart attack about a year later, I’m positive from the stress of having been put through this type of inquisition.

          Don’t think the kids don’t know this, how to get teachers in a LOT of trouble  — they do.  I have heard them throw around these threats all the time — “I’m gonna get you fired!”  Next thing you know, you are accused of child abuse or racism — what the hell are you going to do when NO ONE steps forward for you, including your union, lest they too be branded as a child molester or racist, —  even the administration backs up the kid because “children don’t lie.”

          Also, in districts with high “poverty” rates, the families are looking for massive payouts.  There are  MANY lawsuits against my district and against individual teachers and administrators — the detectives say they can hardly handle the case load.

          As I wrote above, the consequences are harrowing for the accused teacher, they are alone, know it, and know that the false charges could easily cost them their careers; if cleared, often they’ve spent their life savings and still have the stigma of having been accused of wrongdoing.

          My union, in a rare moment of sanity, a few years ago negotiated a teacher’s right to face his accuser in the principal’s office with witnesses present — I understand the charges are often stopped RIGHT THERE when the teacher appears before the kid.

          Rarely do we EVER hear the teacher’s side of these stories.

          There have been cases where entire classrooms have falsely accused teachers of these types of classroom abuses — remember, the kids have the media, social workers, families, admin on THEIR side and they know it.  There are no charges for falsely accusing teachers, although there should be.  Some police departments allow cops to go after false accusers.

          We have NO ONE and must hire outside lawyers — NOT those affiliated with our union, outside lawyers.  I know several teachers who have riders on their homeowners insurance policy against false child abuse charges.  They tell me it’s worth every penny.

          That’s why I write: Put cameras in the classrooms, all of them, and do it now.  We already have cameras in the hallways and cafeteria and other open places.

          I’d like the public to know what goes on in a typical American classroom — and to get a good look at WHAT is being taught as well.

          It’s YOUR tax dollars, after all.

          Bon

  • As a constraint on scholarly research or public policy, political correctness is totally wrong-headed. But it makes sense as politeness–the kind of politeness a teacher must exhibit to a classroom that contains minorities and females. Mr. Olmsted should have shown more civility–as I’m sure he understands today.

  • Anonymous

    Not only is it easier, but it is safer and more rewarding.

  • Anonymous

    This is nothing more than congenital moochers looking for a settlement.

  • Anonymous

    There may come a day when our people have their own schools- and nations- again.  In such a scenario, our teachers could teach our own children.  But until that day comes, we only dishonor ourselves if we verbally abuse children, and should treat everyone with dignity and respect.

  • Anonymous

    I would add that it would likely be easier to teach POOR white kids than rich non white kids……

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like most on this board believe the story. I don’t believe it for a minute. I think they are playing the “lottery.”

  • Anonymous

    Your story is so sad.  The “fact that black students felt they needed to lie about me meant they weren’t comfortable with me as their teacher” comment deeply concerns me.  Alas, I know this happens to scores of teachers but it’s no less upsetting to hear of another.  The injustice of it is absolutely amazing.  

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    These are children, minors, not adults; the laws are different for them. Laws and Rights that apply to adults do not apply to children.

    For example, school personnel have the right to search students and their belongings if they have a reasonable suspicion that the student has drugs, alcohol or weapons. This does NOT apply to adult staff.

    I read about a teacher’s aide whose purse was searched by the principal when he suspected she had drugs — he found the drugs but all charges were dropped because he did not have the right to search the adult’s belongings.

    The “experts” thought that it was “too traumatizing” for children to face their accusers when child abuse was involved. The prevailing wisdom at the time was that “children are innocent and don’t lie.”

    We learned from the McMartin preschool sex abuse scandal, up until that time the longest and most expensive trial in American history, and where children were accusing teachers of satanic rituals, that children DO lie, they also LIE to get their teachers in trouble. Ray Buckey spent five years in jail without ever being convicted.

    Bon