NORMAN, Okla. – An Oklahoma high school student is speaking out after recording her teacher saying that “to be white is to be racist.”
The student, who did not want to be identified, said the Norman North teacher was lecturing on how to “heal the racial divide.”
She said she was stunned by what was being taught, so she pulled out her phone and started recording.
In the audio you can hear the teacher say, “to be white is to be racist, period.”
The student said she was instantly offended.
“Half of my family is Hispanic so I just felt like, you know, him calling me racist just because I’m white … I mean, where’s your proof in that,” she said.
The words that followed were even more shocking to her, she said.
In the recording you hear the teacher ask, “Am I racist? And I say ‘Yea.’ I don’t want to be. It’s not like I choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised?”
“I felt like he was encouraging people to kind of pick on people for being white,” the student said.
“Why is it okay to demonize one race to children that you are supposed to be teaching a curriculum to,” her father asked.
Norman Public Schools released the following statement regarding the issue:
“Racism is an important topic that we discuss in our schools. While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended. We regret that the discussion was poorly handled. When the district was notified of this concern it was immediately addressed. We are committed to ensuring inclusiveness in our schools.” – Dr. Joe Siano, superintendent of Norman Public Schools
“You start telling someone something over and over again that’s an opinion and they start taking it as fact,” the student said. “So I wanted him to apologize and make it obvious and apparent to everyone that was his opinion.”
KFOR reached out to the teacher by email, but did not hear back.