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Brooklyn Teacher Needs a Time-Out

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Vivian Manning-Schaffel: Every once in a while, you hear about a teacher who really needs a time-out.

woman facing wall in the corner

The New York Daily News reports that last December, several students alleged that Elvira Sacco, 55, a teacher at the Secondary School for Journalism on Seventh Ave., lost her cool when seventh- and eighth-graders became disruptive during a movie and launched into a tirade that included the N-word.

One of her students, Pryce-Gary Forbes, 13, previously told the Daily News that the enraged teacher had yelled: "You don't know how to act. You're acting lower class. You're acting like a whole bunch of n------."

Mind you, Sacco is Caucasian and half the class is African-American. Duoh!

So let me get this straight: screaming the "N" word to a bunch of tweens and teens is exemplary behavior?

After the incident, Sacco was sent to a reassignment center -- a "rubber room" -- and disciplinary action is still pending. Apparently, Sacco has been spoken to about using profanity in the classroom in the past, and it's likely the teacher will, once again, get little more than a slap on the wrist.

Now, trying to wrangle a room full of kids high on burgeoning hormones can be hell. But as a teacher, whose job it is to lead by example, it's the epitome of self-indulgence and irresponsibility to use a term so loaded with hatred -- no matter the context. She better watch her ass or she'll have no class -- in the literal sense of the word.

next: Moms Beware! Protect Your Adolescent Boys
19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Barb May 5, 2009, 11:55 AM

I think that teacher should be fired. A person who is so clearly racist is going to treat students differently, and that will affect the students for life.

ame i. May 5, 2009, 2:08 PM

There are plenty of racially neutral words to scream at kids of that age. Turd-nugget, derf-wad, numb-skull, and butthead are only a few ;)
How about not resorting to name-calling and sending the offenders out of the room?

Sandy May 5, 2009, 3:26 PM

But she didn’t call anyone a name. She told them they were acting like…. There is a big difference. If she’d called them a name, she’d have said, “You guys are a bunch of n…”

While I don’t think she was very wise to use that particular word, I think her point was that the way they were acting was making them look bad. She wanted a bad word to show them what image they were portraying. I’d say the one she picked was pretty appropriate to get her meaning across, even if it did get her in trouble.

Not smart, but I see her point. Trouble is, she doesn’t have the luxury of being able to explain her point after the fact.

Disregard all of the above if the woman is just a stupid racist, though.

LittleMe May 5, 2009, 5:31 PM

OK, she should either be fired or on temporary probation while taking a class on how to speak to kids.

As for the comment “Sandy” left, I disagree. Doesn’t matter whether or not she “called” them the “N” word or said they were acting like it. Both wrong. Is it ok for me to tell my 6 y/o that she’s acting like a little sh*t or she is a little sh*t? Enough said!

Crystal May 5, 2009, 5:31 PM

Think before you speak I don’t care if she directly called them the N word or said they were acting like the N word. It is inappropriate and disgusting to see teachers speaking to children in that way. I don’t care how disruptive they were being she had no right and deserves whatever punishment she gets. It doesn’t matter what the race is she uttered a racial slur. You would think that as a teacher she could have used her imagination to get her point across instead of insulting her students. Don’t they get enough of that from other students and other ignorant people. A teacher is someone to look up to not down at.

Big Mama May 5, 2009, 5:33 PM

WOW. That lady needs an early retirement! I cringe thinking of the law suit against the district…

Jill (the other one) May 5, 2009, 6:19 PM

Just when I think I’ve heard it all … Wow. How could anyone be so stupid and rude? And did she honestly think she could say something like that and not have any fall-out?

Nell May 5, 2009, 8:32 PM


Your comment did not make any kind of sense. Appropriate? Name just ONE way that is was “appropriate”. After you do that, we would like to know ‘what is YOUR definition of a N——-? Really!?!?

Anonymous May 5, 2009, 9:48 PM

As a human being especially as a teacher, this woman should have known all the negative connotations that come along with the N-word. No matter in what context she used the word, it was wrong and she needs to be punished. I guess she figured it wouldn’t go any further than the classroom since she was talking to a group of African American kids. KUDOS to the kids who reported her!

Here we are as parents telling our kids that they shouldn’t use this word and they go to school only to hear it from their teacher. TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE ON HER BEHALF! She should be fired—POINTBLANK considering that this is not the first time she has done this.

Lil Mama

Anonymous May 6, 2009, 1:31 AM

she should have told them they were acting ghetto

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