Views from the Edge
A round of applause to Jennifer Thompson for joining the fight against racial bias,
Jennifer Thompson is having none of that and turned the spelling lesson and lesson of race relations
Thompson was shocked when her 6-year-old daughter brought home a spelling list that included “gook,” a racist slur used to denigrate and dehumanize people from Southeast and East Asia.
Last week, the word created a teachable moment that the mother neither intended nor wanted for a first-grader.
“We had to explain to Emily why she could not say the word and not to use it,” Thompson told the Gaston Gazette.
After Thompson contacted the teacher, the unnamed instructor told her that the students were learning words with similar sounds such as “look,” “took” and, yes, that racist slur.
“They said they were going off the word sounds and not necessarily the meanings,” Thompson told the paper.
Gaston County Schools schools spokesman Todd Hagans told the Gaston Gazette that the inclusion of the slur was merely “an oversight by the teacher” and that “she never meant to be insensitive.”
The slur will not appear in future spelling lists, he said.
Thompson told the Gazette that she was so concerned about the word because it could normalize a hateful word.
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