Teacher reinstated after students protest his suspension over a - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Teacher reinstated after students protest his suspension over a history lesson

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Students wear T-Shirts in support of Alan Barron Students wear T-Shirts in support of Alan Barron
A suspended Monroe Middle School Teacher will be reinstated after news of his suspension drew strong criticism.

Many of his students were upset after they say their teacher was suspended for just trying to teach them about history.

Alan Barron has been teaching school in the district for 36 years and is ready to retire. Students say it all started when an assistant principal sat in on a lesson about black history and didn't like a video that Barron showed to the class that depicted performers in black face.

Students say the assistant principal asked him to stop showing the video and suspended Barron the next day, just weeks before his scheduled retirement.

Adrienne Aaron says she and other parents of students are shocked at the suspension because Barron was just telling the students the truth about history. Aaron's husband is African-American and their daughter is in Barron's class. She says their daughter was not offended by the lesson. The class was a discussion of Jim Crow laws and racial segregation. Barron showed a video depicting to students how white people used black face to imitate African Americans in performances.

Aaron says, "They said it was offensive, that parents would think it was offensive. Myself having a black child, I think it's more offensive stopping it. Our kids need to know our history."

While the situation is under investigation, Barron was prohibited was coming to school functions such as the annual banquet where retiring teachers like himself are honored.

Shortly after 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Superintendent of Monroe Schools also sent out a statement saying that the community was "misinformed" about the situation.

Just an hour after our report on this story aired on 13abc, Alan Barron confirmed he received a call inviting him to return to school on Monday.

That's good news for people like former student Erin Kiser, "history is history. I just don't understand what their thinking what was wrong with it. why it suddenly became such a big deal when I imagine it was probably the same curriculum he taught me 20 years ago."

Student Donovan Isaac said, "In the two years I've had Mr. Barron, he's never offended me. "He's more of a life teacher than a history teacher. He gives us live lessons and makes a difference to all of his kids in a special way."

Amari Aaron agrees and says the controversial lesson was a valuable one. "History is history and you can't really change that. You got to learn about your history so you don't repeat it. I can't figure it out. It's just ridiculous. I don't understand."

Students and parents alike showed immediate support for Barron following his suspension. Some students even made T-shirts to show their solidarity.

Barron says he can't wait to get back to his "kids" in the classroom. He says he'll have a meeting with the school Monday morning, but can't comment further.

His lawyer said in a statement that Mr. Barron is looking forward to spending the final three weeks of his 36-year career doing what he loves and wants to thank the community for its support.

A representative from the school says the investigation is now complete.



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