IN HONOR OF WOMEN HISTORY MONTH 2015 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH Shanta Wheeler

 

Much of the country is still discussing the Department of Justice’s scathing report on racism within Ferguson’s police department, but a Missouri teacher in a small town is accusing school officials and parents of being so racist that she was forced to resign.

Shanta Wheeler of Laddonia, Mo claims, according to Courthouse News, that as the school’s only black teacher, she was forced to stop teaching her class until a parent left the building because the parent “does not like black people.”

Wheeler claims that the school acknowledged the racism, even going so far as to ask her to resign because “the parents, community, and Community School District had such a problem” with race.

In her lawsuit against the Community R-VI School District, Community Superintendent Cheryl Mack and Community Elementary School Principal Natalie Gibson, the only black teacher in the majority white school district claims she was heckled when she entered the building, screamed at by parents, not allowed to defend herself against abusive parents, and asked to stop teaching her class because a parent had entered the building who did not like black people.

“No Caucasian employees had to endure similarly humiliating classroom interruptions,” the lawsuit alleges. Wheeler claims parents were actually encouraged to share their complaints about her with school administrators, while this was never the case for white teachers.

“Plaintiff was told that race is obviously a problem for the parents, the community, and the district,” alleges the lawsuit. “Because the parents, community, and Community School District had such a problem, plaintiff was asked to resign.”

Wheeler says she finally resigned in March of 2014 due to racism. Wheeler is suing over racial discrimination and retaliation, since she alleges that school officials made it difficult for her to get a recommendation so she could find a new job.

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