Michigan teacher suspended for blackface lesson

By Kyle Johnson,

A Monroe, Michigan middle-school teacher has been suspended after showing a video of people in blackface to his eighth-grade class.

According to Monroe News, Alan Barron, who is weeks away from retiring, showed videos of white entertainers wearing blackface while discussing racial segregation and black history, but the class was cut short by an assistant principal who was in the classroom.

Parents said that the school official believed the lesson plan to be racist. The 36-year teacher was placed on suspension by school officials while they investigate whether his lesson plan was actually racist.

Adrienne Aaron, whose husband is African-American, said her daughter is in Barron's class and wasn't offended by the video, saying that it was merely showing what some entertainers did in the 1800s.

"She was more offended that they stopped the video," she said. "It had nothing to do with racism. History is history. We need to educate our kids to see how far we've come in America. How is that racism?"

According to The Associated Press, while Barron is on paid administrative leave he won't be allowed to go to the upcoming retiring teachers banquet.

The school district wouldn't comment on the suspension any further, noting that "this is a personnel matter that is going through the teacher-contract required steps."

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