Sacrificial Lambs

Take the case of Tiffany Dunn, a white anti-racist ESL teacher at Lassiter Middle School. On one occasion, she spoke at a JCPS Board Meeting about a situation that made her principal, Jon Cessler, uncomfortable. The very next day, Tiffany contacted me to let me know she had had her classroom taken away and that she would be teaching from a cart. I notified Dr. Pollio who apparently made a call and put a stop to the retaliation efforts. However, she has remained in the crosshairs of district leaders and her principal ever since. She recently received another grievance for not teaching the standards when the principal dropped by her classroom. She says he was only in her classroom a few minutes so he missed it. She filed a 4-page rebuttal to the grievance. Retaliation for reporting harmful behaviors is a common practice in JCPS, and, according to the examples we’ve been made aware of, are often aided at several touch points along the way, including internal investigations, labor relations and union representation.

Tiffany’s story is just one of many examples where white educators have also experienced second-hand discrimination for standing up for Black and Brown students or colleagues. Todd’s story is another example where it may have been simply pad the data to detract from the patterns or practices of discrimination and targeting that took place at Highland Middle. If you feel you may have witnessed or experienced something similar, please complete our survey.

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