Lakeshore Teacher Speaks About Discipline over Controversial Test Question

Jenny Dolph and Ryan Klund, ABC 57 News, March 16, 2012

A Lakeshore High School teacher is facing disciplinary action by Lakeshore Schools for a controversial test question she wrote on an exam.

Christine Schroeder, an Advanced Placement English teacher, wrote a fill-in-the-blank test question asking students to describe how some people see Benton Harbor. The answer to the question was “sordid.” The word means ‘dirty, filthy, or run-down’.

Schroeder’s vocabulary test was given last Friday. It read: ‘Many people assume that all areas of Benton Harbor are _____: they don’t consider the neat arts district with its cool restaurants and shops.’

Since word got out of the disciplinary action Thursday, a Facebook group started called ‘Support Mrs. Schroeder‘. As of Friday night, more than 2,000 people had joined.

Christine Schroeder was greeted by overwhelming applause Friday when she met with ABC57 News outside Lakeshore High School to talk about the test question.

Friday, Schroeder returned to class for the first time since being placed on administrative leave. “I, in fact, felt like I was supporting Benton Harbor,” she said of the controversial question. “I had absolutely no intention of making a statement I thought was racially derogatory or inflammatory.”

{snip}

Lakeshore Schools did email a press release with a statement saying: “The exam question did not reflect our commitment to a positive diverse learning environment.”

Schroeder said the exam question came from a previous conversation she had with students in her class and said she hopes the situation opens up a discussion about reflections of race in the area. “What I think this has illustrated more than anything is how deep of a need we have for that in our community,” she said.

{snip}

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  • sbuffalonative

    The name Benton Harbor sounds downright bucolic . Maybe it was  in it’s halcyon days but I guess it isn’t anymore.

    • robinbishop34

      I thought the exact same thing. The name ‘Benton Harbor’ sounds so pleasant and quaint.

  • I looked up Lakeshore HS, and it’s 92% White.  Benton Harbor is heavily black.  “Sordid” is how the Lakeshore students define Benton Harbor, which actually shows a good deal of restraint.  If it were me, I would use different words, and yes, including a few pejoratives.

  • tacheles

    It is interesting that the politically correct associate “sordid” with black. Deep down they know what is going on.

    [The racial makeup of the city was 92.40% AA, 5.48% White]

  • haroldcrews

    Unfortunately everything comes down to race even when whites never intended to imply any such thing.  Blacks will always make it about race in dealing with whites.  I had a rather unpleasant experience with a black woman on Facebook concerning homosexual ‘marriage’.  After a couple of posts she played the race card of course though the connection eludes me.  Anytime a black thinks it is to his or her advantage to play the race-card which will always be the case.

  • tacheles

    What’s going to be taboo next? Can you still talk about urban decay? What about racial academic achievement gaps?

    • JohnEngelman

      Racial academic achievement gaps are already taboo unless they are blamed on white racism. 

  • She was probably telling the truth about Benton Harbor but the truth offended the powers that be at the school board.

  • The_Bobster

    Schroeder said the exam question came from a previous conversation she had with students in her class and said she hopes the situation opens up a discussion about reflections of race in the area. “What I think this has illustrated more than anything is how deep of a need we have for that in our community,” she said.

    __________

    The libtard is too stupid to realize she stepped on the third rail. No discussion of race by Whites will turn out well.

  • felixthecatxxxx

    The father of the girl who whined complained about the question is already considering legal action against the school district.

    Benton Harbor is indeed sordid, squalid and slummy even. The teacher was trying to help the students see that there were some bright spots in BH. Her reward? A slap in the face.

  • Detroit_WASP

    I love it when edgy white teachers make an attempt at “keepin’ it real” with their black students and blows up in their face.  LOL

    Benton Harbor is a great example of a small country town, away from the dangers and influnces of the big inner cities is STILL a crime ridden economic and academic disaster.  No jobs, failing schools, rampent crime.  And JUST HAPPENS to be 89% black.  Strictly a conicidence!

    I was looking at the MEAP and SAT scores of Benton Harbor and they are nearly identical to the scores in Detroit.  All of the black schools and school districts always have the worst scores.  Dispite spending MORE (yes more) than most suburban school districts, Detroit continues to fail. 

    Never been to Benton Harbor but having grown up in Detroit, I really don’t need to visit to know what it is like.

  • tacheles

    Stating the obvious now gets you sent to reeducation camp:

     

    Teacher attending racial sensitivity workshop because of Benton Harbor quiz question
    Associated Press report

    8:13 AM EDT, March 18, 2012

    STEVENSVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A white teacher in Stevensville has agreed to attend a racial sensitivity workshop after giving a vocabulary quiz that described nearby Benton Harbor – a poor, mostly black city – as “sordid.”

    The full question shows English teacher Christine Schroeder seemed to be trying to put Benton Harbor in a good light.

    But she told The Herald-Palladium ( ) that she understands how the question could be negatively perceived. The newspaper reported Friday that at least one black student at Lakeshore High School was offended.

    Schroeder put the following fill-in-the-blank question on a recent quiz: “Many people assume that all areas of Benton Harbor are (blank); they don’t consider the neat arts district with its cool restaurants and shops.”
    The correct answer was “sordid,” which means dirty or squalid. Schroeder told the newspaper that she was inspired to draft the question after students reacted negatively to a suggestion that their prom be held in Benton Harbor.
    Cornell Burton of Stevensville, the father of an African-American girl in Schroeder’s class, said the question was offensive because it denigrated Benton Harbor. He said the teacher should have been suspended.
    Schroeder said she apologized to the student and agreed to attend a workshop on racial sensitivity in Grand Rapids.
    “While I remain chagrined at my insensitivity in wording and how that question could be perceived, I cannot imagine something more healthy for this community than honestly approaching the topic of race,” she told the newspaper in an email.
    [snip]

    • tacheles

      [Cornell Burton of Stevensville, the father of an African-American girl in Schroeder’s class, said the question was offensive because it denigrated Benton Harbor.]

      That father should be charged with a hate crime for using the word “denigrate”:

      Origin of DENIGRATE
      Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare, from de- + nigrare to blacken, from nigr-, niger black

  • ROBERT CROSS

    These people really need to get a proper job,arguing over the word sordid is purile beyond belief, at first i thought benton harbor was some kind of negro super hero,so i was quite lost as to the issue,and it still does not make any sense,in the same vein i could say that burnley in the north of England is squalid,but this is meaningless.

  • Energizer2112

    Hilarious! If the other passengers on the CTA El knew what I was laughing about this morning, I may not make it to work in one piece.

  • 1proactive2

    Benton Harbor is a black ghetto wasteland, and the black parent that is objecting is either delusional or he wants to gain some kind of insane status among the professional black chronic whiners.  Just across the river is the predominantly white St. Joseph which has always been safe and clean.  This area would be great to show a contrast between white and black towns due to close proximity, but one would have to act fast because blacks are moving over to the St. Jo area.   

    To give attention to this shameless black parent is absurd.  Must have been a slow news day, or some lefty is on the station payroll and began salivating at the thought of a news story that will invent a racial crisis.  Benton Harbor, aka, “Benton Harlem”, is dangerous and filthy.  And it’s also “sordid”.  

  • Shawn_thefemale

    Boy,  minorities sure do get their panties in a wad over nothing, don’t they?  Feigning the often lucrative horror and dismay of racism while while yesterday they were whining about the conditions of their own neighborhood they  “has to live in” and why the white man needs to fix it up. But let somebody of another race make the identical comment about the conditions of black ‘hoods’, and they’re virtually crucified.

    I know it sounds bold sitting here behind a screen but I’d argue this one till my breath gave out.

  • saxonsun

    Not just okay…obligatory and terribly admirable to hate Whites openly.