A little boy is scared to return to art class after his teacher allegedly told him, “All African-Americans have big noses” while helping him with a self-portrait.
On Oct. 15, 8-year-old Nassaun Jones, a student at West Middle Island Elementary School in Middle Island, N.Y., was working on a self-portrait during art class and asked his teacher, John Johnson, to help him draw his nose. “He drew my nose really big, and then I asked him, ‘Why did you draw my nose really big?’ And then he said, ‘Because all African-Americans have big noses,” Nassaun tearfully told News 12 Long Island.
“I was shocked,” Nassuan’s grandmother Roberta Williams told the news station. “For it to be a white teacher, and my grandson’s African-American, and you told a kid that, ‘OK, because of your color, you have a big nose.’ … No teacher should be shaming a child about their color, the size of their nose, the texture of their hair, the color of their eyes. It shouldn’t matter.”
Williams called the school to complain, and the next day, Johnson contacted the family. “He said, ‘Oh, I think your grandson misunderstood me.’”
The Longwood Central School District sent a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “Longwood Central School District Central Administration is looking into the matter and trust that any miscommunication or offense taken by the family from a staff member will be remedied through further communication. As this is a personnel matter, no other statements or comments will be forthcoming.”
However, Williams wants the school to terminate the teacher. “We just want this teacher removed from the school. He shouldn’t be teaching any kids.”
Nassuan was very hurt by his teacher’s comments, telling News 12 Long Island, “I’m scared to go back to art class because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
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