A white Chicago Public School teacher hung an African American football doll by its neck from a projector screen in his classroom.
The teacher, who works for Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, has been pulled from school after the evidently racial incident.
Following the teacher stringing the Black doll by its neck, Joyce Kenner, the Chicago school’s principal, sent out a letter to the parents recounting the incident. ABC7 News reports the letter alleged the teacher was looking for the owner of the Black doll, so he hung it by a cord to see if a student would claim it.
Principal Kenner went on to state in the letter that Chicago Public School would be in charge of the investigation, and the school planned to “follow the disciplinary protocol” established by the district.
Michelle Donegan, the parent of a biracial student who attends Whitney Young, said she wants more aggressive action taken against the teacher and that his teaching degree should be revoked. "He knows what lynching is," Donegan said. "He knows what hanging the doll would represent, but did he give any thought to how it would affect the students."
Chicago Public Schools wished to stay silent on the incident at first, saying they don’t comment on personnel matters, but later issued a statement: "Chicago Public Schools (CPS) strives to foster safe and secure learning environments for our students, families, and colleagues. Our schools and the District investigate and address all complaints and allegations of wrongdoing in accordance with District policies and procedures."
Whitney Young Magnet High School, where the teacher is currently still employed, is known as a standout Chicago public school and one of the district’s selective enrollment high schools.
Students from Whitney Young have also reacted to their fellow teacher hanging the black football doll. A Whitney Young student of color said, "It really surprised me and I was really disgusted because our school is supposed to be very inclusive and diverse."
"He definitely should have thought about it because that could be really sensitive, especially being an African American doll. And even something like that, like suicidal, could trigger suicidal thoughts," sophomore William Schetz stated.
A petition has been formed demanding the teacher be fired for his actions including that he has been a long-time problematic presence at the high school. As of Wednesday (March 30), the petition had over 400 signatures.
According to Chicago Sun-Times, the teacher has remained silent on the issue.