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Son being accused of being resist

50 replies

Ruthyx1 · 25/06/2019 09:38

Hi there, my son aged 16, who is currently attending a Post 16 School was falsely accused of being racist by one of his computing teachers. He was accused of being racist last Friday because he had searched up "Harambe"(Which is a gorilla) while in his lesson, the teacher then looked at his computer screen seeing the gorilla, which is when she proceeded to send him out of the lesson to confront him about it. The computing teacher then accused my son almost instantly of being racist towards black people, in her own words she said "You shouldn't be looking at gorilla's when there's a black person in the room" My son then apologised but assured the teacher that the picture of the gorilla was not intended to cause any offence towards her she went on to say that she is going to email The (Head Of Computing) about the incident, she then told my son to go back into class and carry on with his work.(Just for reference my son is a White Male and the teacher is a Black Female)

The following Monday, My son was pulled out of his computing lesson as he had to have a meeting about the incident that had occurred the Friday prior. In the meeting he was interrogated by His Head Of Year 12
and the Assistant Head and was made out to be a racist, while telling [redacted] that as soon as they heard about the incident they instantly made the connection between the gorilla and being racist My son then began to cry in the meeting as he was devastated that a picture of a gorilla had been taken this far even after His head of year told myself and my son "I know he isn't racist " but then confirms with Head Teacher that my son should be excluded from school for 1 day for racism missing a mock exam in the process. The head of year then also extended the meeting to [redacted's] place in the school saying that if she was in his place she would withdraw and go somewhere else, The head of year also added that my son is going to fail his exams. I was so shocked coming from a teacher when they're supposed to support and provide for our students, they're meant to motivate our students not to make them out to feel worthless.

This has severely effected my son aswe went to go see the GP approximately two weeks ago about him having depression, he was referred to C.A.M.H.S (Child And Adolescent Mental Health Services) and i have booked him an appointment to try and get some help, but this situation is making it much worse especially when they know the mental state he is currently in. I'm concerned as this false accusation of racism is put on to his permanent record as he was excluded due to the incident, which universities and future jobs will be able to see.
Advice please..

Identifying information edited by MNHQ

OP posts:
Ruthyx1 · 25/06/2019 22:18

Sorry not been on here, had a meeting with the school today, in which they stated that he wasn't racist but made a silly mistake, to which point the teacher took offence to. So will sit on his file as a racist act. Although it wasn't intended in that manor which they stated it has to go under a certain heading The dept head then stated she was disappointed that I felt my son had done nothing wrong, which point I corrected her, yes he has done wrong for messing around having a laugh with his friends looking for memes but the fact of the matter was he had been naughty for not doing his work but not being a racist. If a picture of a gorilla is classed as a racist act why is it even accessible from the class room.

OP posts:
Soontobe60 · 25/06/2019 22:26

Mums know their teens better than teachers and if op says he is innocent he is innocent.

twattymctwatterson · 26/06/2019 06:03

So he was looking for gorilla memes? It's clear you've given the story here that paints your son in the best light and there's information missing

Greyhound22 · 26/06/2019 06:23

Why a gorilla though? Of all the things to Google whilst being taught by a black teacher if there was no mention of them or relevance to the lesson? If they were having a discussion about a recent zoo visit and being asked what their favourite animal was then fine - if he was Googling random shit in a lesson then fine - tell him off and to get on with his lesson. I think there is more to this and the teacher clearly feels she was being subjected to racism aimed at her.

PhilipJennings · 26/06/2019 06:25

I can actually see this happening the way OP's son says.

"Harambe" is a reasonably common (but not ubiquitous) meme on some sites like reddit etc, to be fair, and he may well have seen the term and googled to find out what the story was. Some of you might remember the news story. I've seen the meme and had forgotten the story, so I googled it myself relatively recently.

It wasn't "pictures of gorillas" in general he was looking at, it's clearly one specific named animal. I think the whole thing is a massive overreaction.

mnistooaddictive · 26/06/2019 06:29

Honestly, I think you need to take a good think. Exactly why was he googling Gorillas? He did something stupid and got caught and is rapidly backtracking to try and get out of it. Missing mocks won’t make much difference long term.

Namaste6 · 26/06/2019 06:40

I'm with @millymae OP. What a ludicrous situation. I would without doubt ask for a meeting at the most senior level. The only racist behaviour I can see is from the teacher in the first place who even suggested a correlation between the image of a gorilla and another pupil in the room.

YourSarcasmIsDripping · 26/06/2019 06:48

@Namaste6 have you read OP's posts? The teacher was the black person in the room .

ASauvignonADay · 26/06/2019 06:53

Mums know their teens better than teachers and if op says he is innocent he is innocent.
🙄 really??

blueyx100 · 26/06/2019 06:54

No your incorrect he was sitting with his Asian friend and another no action has been taken against them all of the children in the class believe that she has over reacted. If I walked into that school yesterday with my baby holding a toy gorilla toy which he plays with all the time so does that make me and my 2 year old son a racist.
People of today forget that innocence is in people my son never even knew it would be a racist act to look at a gorilla on a screen he is a quite and polite young man not a thug or a bully keeps him self to him self ain't on the streets causing fights, he would hold a door open for you if you were walking in somewhere with him he has integrity, respect and intelligence to know right from wrong! I personally think the teacher has her own personal issues that she has said stating you cannot look at gorillas when there is black people in the room this is totally horrendous! Why not it's an animal I love these lovely creatures and this one died because a child was in danger. get It's not all about the race game and people need to get over them selves, My son is a16 years old kid, only after she pointed it out to him that he then knew and he was really upset by it, as that it's not something you go around teaching ER or HR to kids this isn't a work place it's a meme he don't watch the news. This is a topic that him and his friends had been talking about the gorilla himself who died a tragic way it had no racist comments it's a total joke and even stated to my son she believed him. Everyone believes his made a mistake and that it wasn't intended in the manor it was taken from but as it's was a picture of a gorilla it has still been put on his file as a racist incident that's the problem here not my sons innocence.

RageAgainstTheVendingMachine · 26/06/2019 07:16

Name change fail OP?
They were probably googling Dicks out for Harambe, which doesn't make it better. Plus it was 3 years ago so hardly topical.

You need to find out how to appeal the exclusion and have it expunged from his file
It mentions missing public exams but I am not sure a mock will count
Speak to your son - ask him if his googling history would back up his claims that they were just looking at a handful of memes or not - ask the school ICT support or technician to print out his user history
Appeal to the school/chairman of the board of governors
Look up their complaints policy and follow it
Messing about/not being on task would not lead to a one day exclusion ime - ask whether he can have detention or time in the isolation unit instead and be able to sit his exam

Explain that you want all allegations of racism expunged from the record as it was not a racist incident and that they are risking his mental health by how they have dealt with the allegation - ask for all proof they have of there being any racist intent including witness statements

Freedom of information act - I would ask for a copy of all communique in his pastoral file for that matter

But you are focusing on the wrong thing - they want him gone, think he is a poor student who will affect their stats and will fail his exams: This is what you need to be addressing.

ASauvignonADay · 26/06/2019 07:27

None of us were in the room when it happened. I've experienced children insult me in a very subtle way - on paper you could probably dispute it but I 100% knew it was meant to offend or upset me.
For eg, he could have got the gorilla meme/photo up and be looking between the image and the member of staff sniggering. Easy for him to say he was just innocently looking at Harambe, but the member of staff clearly took offence by what he was doing otherwise she wouldn't have raised it. This will have created her more work and hassle - she wouldn't have escalated it if she didn't feel necessary.

ASauvignonADay · 26/06/2019 07:29

I recently dealt with an incident where a student had done a monkey impression directed towards a black male student. The boy claimed it was totally innocent and he'd been talking about monkeys with his friends. When viewing the CCTV, he had been jumping around like a monkey in a circle around the victim, making direct eye contact and laughing. His mum defended him by saying "he wouldn't be racist, we've got black family" 🙄

blueyx100 · 26/06/2019 07:31

Thank you, I know they have asked him to move from the school due to poor attendance which then could affecting his results therefore their
Results. He has had low mood for a while now and this has contributed to his absence in the past he is now getting help for that, as I wouldn't talk about how he was feeling for a long time. But they have stated yesterday that if he made the decision today (yesterday) knowing he is sitting his exams from today this week stating if you make the choice to leave then I won't need to bother putting this on your file not blackmailing you or anything but that's how it stands hmm to me that is black mail?

blueyx100 · 26/06/2019 07:33

*he not I

notatwork · 26/06/2019 07:43

Harambe was the name of a gorilla was shot to save a child who had fallen in to the enclosure at a zoo. His picture was subsequently used in many overtly racist memes.
I suspect in this case that when your son searched for Harambe the picture that came up was one of these memes, so perhaps he (inadvertently) did have racist content on the computer when the teacher saw it?
It sounds as if he's been struggling for a while OP. Is there any option for him to move college or choose a different course?

Faithless12 · 26/06/2019 07:44

@RageAgainstTheVendingMachine a freedom of information act would not work in this instance. She needs to make a subject access request which the school could refuse to supply as her son is old enough to make his own application.
@Ruthyx1I think you are being incredibly naive if you don’t your son knew that monkeys/gorillas are used in racist abuse. You are getting your sons spin on this and he will try to paint himself in the best possible light. Try and see it from the teachers eyes, three boys are messing around and laughing she looks at what they are looking at and there on your sons screen is a gorilla. Yeah I can totally see why she thought they were being racist.

I had children talking about the N word in my classroom once. I knew these boys very well and knew that they weren’t directing it at anyone so none of them got punished but they were educated about it.

Faithless12 · 26/06/2019 07:47

@msmith501 racism is not truly addressed in the UK. Otherwise some of the examples in this thread would not have even happened.

blueyx100 · 26/06/2019 08:19

I am not naive at all I have spoken with my son and the teachers head of year and dept head who had not met my son prior to this incident who stated that he was a breath of fresh air and a credit to me from his honesty and the way he reacted to the allegation, they have said they know he is not racist and that he unfortunately searched for memes and that one came up as it is one of the most famous memes to exist at the point of the teacher looking at the screen. They have said because of the seriousness of the allegation although they know he never intended to offend his teacher but has to be put on his record as racist incident this is the problem the teachers starring he is not but still tarnished with the racist card!

RageAgainstTheVendingMachine · 26/06/2019 08:19

But they have stated yesterday that if he made the decision today (yesterday) knowing he is sitting his exams from today this week stating if you make the choice to leave then I won't need to bother putting this on your file not blackmailing you or anything but that's how it stands hmm to me that is black mail?

Even more reason to pursue a complaint/initiate appeals procedure. Call their bluff. That sounds like blackmail to me too.
But be honest with yourself - is he playing the class clown across all lessons? what qualifications is he due to take and will he pass them? what qualifications/coursework elements does he already have? What does he want to do or to be? What could he apply for now? What does he hope to apply for? Where does he see himself two years from now?

RageAgainstTheVendingMachine · 26/06/2019 08:24 might be able to get a character reference saying he is an honest student if you leave but you might not be able to find another college placement with poor attendance and leaving with no qualifications if he does want to go to uni won't help him at all.

RageAgainstTheVendingMachine · 26/06/2019 08:26

Did you say to the head that you were surprised by the Head of year's comments in the meeting you had, given they had said to you there was no malice/racist intent?

knottybeams · 26/06/2019 09:00

Racism aside, school search filters do tend to be a bit on the harsh side. I remember looking stuff up for a level coursework on HIV/AIDS and breast cancer genetics - everything flagged to school as inappropriate, even though the exam board had set the question.

S1naidSucks · 26/06/2019 09:12

It's not all about the race game and people need to get over them selves

The race game? WTF?

solargain · 26/06/2019 13:41

It's not all about the race game and people need to get over them selves

Ah the good old race game. Ethnic minorities love a cracking game of prejudice. Hmm

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