Teacher Fired for Teaching Her Students About the “Central Park Five”

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Source: Urban Intellectuals

When 37 year-old, Jeena Lee-Walker decided to teach her class about the “Central Park Five” she never imagined it would leave her unemployed.

Lee-Walker, a teacher at New York City’s High School of Arts, taught her students that racism exists in the justice when she taught them about a real injustice that happened in the city they reside in. The “Central Park Five,” were five young black and latino that were charged and convicted of rape. They maintain their innocence throughout their 14 plus years in jail. Devine intervention freed these innocent men from jail when the man who actually committed the crime confessed.

How could teaching this to your students leave you unemployed? Lee-Walker said school officials told her to stop teaching this to her students because it would insight a riot among the black students. Lee-Walker refused, the school retaliated by giving her poor performance evaluations until they eventually fired her.

Although they fired her, she values the relationship she developed with her former students during this lesson. “They were really moved by the documentary and rightly so. They really identified with the teenagers,” Lee-Walker said.

She is suing the school for wrongful termination and for violating her civil rights in Manhattan Federal Court.

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