Call Me Master: Iowa Teacher Tells Black Student

Jabre White a senior at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa was told by his teacher Shawn McCurtain to say “Yes Sir, Massa.” Mr. McCurtain ( a white teacher at Roosevelt) was having the class move to another classroom to take senior finals when the incident occurred. According to Jabre White (a black student), he responded to the teachers request with Yes Sir, the teacher turned and said “say yes, massa.”

Naturally this upset Jabre and he proceeded to say “who the f*** are you talking too?” The exchange went on for a little bit. Jabre reported the incident to the schools Vice Principal Joseph Blazevich and to his mom Nicholle.

Nicholle White addressed the incident with the Vice Principal, but to her dissatisfaction no disciplinary action took place about the teacher’s conduct. The school confirms the incident did take place and according to Iowa law school disciplinary records are not made public. Shawn McCurtain still teaches at Roosevelt High according to district officials. Vice Principal Blazevich said that Ms. White can file a complaint if she wishes, but the process will take some time.

Not only was this young man disrespected in front of his peers, he was also subjected to a bigoted statement from a person in authority. But the atrocity did not stop there. When Jabre told the vice principal what happened, it seemed that Blazevich was more concerned about Jabre using the F word than the actions of the teacher. Mr. Blavzevich should have been more concerned about the teacher’s words and actions than that of Jabre who had every right to defend himself from the racist statement.

The teacher Shawn McCurtain insisted that he meant the statement as a joke and did not mean any harm. Even though, the parents have a right to file a complaint, school officials should have investigated the matter while placing the teacher on administrative leave. However, the school seems to have let the incident slide and placed responsiblity of following up on the incident to that of the parents.

If this was your child what would you do? Should the school board suspend the teacher? Whatever happens schools are place of learning and educating young minds. It is not a place where those in authority should make any racist or bigoted comments toward faculty, staff and especially not students. This may not be the only case where this has happened, but Ms. White, after not seeking any justice from the school, went to the media to bring this story forward so it will not happen to another child.

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One Response to “Call Me Master: Iowa Teacher Tells Black Student”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I want to see pictures of this teacher, and hear him speak to the racist comment to this young boy.

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