Somers teacher returns to classroom after 'white fragility' lesson was stopped mid-way

A Somers High School teacher is back in the classroom today as controversy still brews over her lesson on "white fragility."

News 12 Staff

Nov 14, 2022, 11:20 AM

Updated 550 days ago

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A Somers High School teacher is back in the classroom today as controversy still brews over her lesson on "white fragility"
On Nov. 2, Superintendent Dr. Raymond Blanche said he received complaints that Allison Ferrier was using an instructional book "Me and White Supremacy" to help students explore white privilege.
Administrators received complaints as the lesson was happening and the lesson was stopped.
Students say Allison Ferrier has not been back since.
Dr. Blanche wrote a note to students and parents this week saying that Ferrier is coming back to the classroom on Monday.
He said she used an unauthorized book last week. This week, he said it was not specifically prohibited and he is ready to welcome her back.
The book is meant to get students to examine white privilege. 
In his latest letter to parents, the superintendent has clarified that the book "Me and White Supremacy" will not be part of the 10th grade curriculum.
At a protest outside a closed board meeting last Monday, some parents and students said the district should have stuck up for Ferrier. There's also a petition on Change.org with over 6,000 signatures that called for the district to bring her back.
Sarah Kooluris objected to the lesson and she objects to how the district has handled this. It's unclear to Kooluris if this is going to lead to any new policy to help protect teens who might not be ready for these conversations.
"We're talking about kids that are 15, 16 years old in 10th grade. There are so many adults who don't comprehend this theory. It's a very heavy subject," she said.
"I think the way they're teaching it is where there's the controversy. You know, there's a way to teach diversity and equality by raising people up instead of tearing one group down," says Dom DeMartino, of Somers.
The author of "Me and White Supremacy," Layla Saad, heard about the controversy and said in a statement, "I send love and appreciation to Mrs. Ferrier, the teacher who taught this class. It takes courage to be a good ancestor, and that's exactly what she is."
What's unclear now is whether this incident will lead to any new policy with clear painted lines of what is and is not accepted in the classroom.


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