Students outraged after teacher suspended over blackface video

Monroe Middle

Michigan middle school teacher Alan Barron planned to retire in two weeks.

Now the Monroe teacher is suspended and at the center of a heated debate after showing his students a video depicting entertainers in blackface as part of a history lesson on racism. Students and others in the community have come to Barron’s defense, saying he embodied tolerance and only showed the video to teach about racism.

But an unidentified assistant principal who was sitting in on the history class found the video offensive, leading to the suspension of the 59-year-old teacher, according to Monroe News.

T-shirts in support of Barron

Parent Adrienne Aaron, whose husband is black, said her daughter had no qualms with the video.

“She was more offended that they stopped the video,” Aaron told the Monroe News of her daughter. “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?”

Students and other supporters of Barron expressed outrage with Monroe Public Schools.

“MPS should be ashamed of themselves!” Suzanne Case-Rochowiak vented on Facebook. “It’s called history for a reason and our children need to be educated on these issues. Mr. Barron is a fantastic teacher and a genuine person who doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Aanna1123

    Seems the anonymous assistant principle may have a serious racism problem! Put that teacher back in the classroom and ‘suspend’ the assistant principle. Pretty weak school system if the AP has more pull than the parents and students ~ who, by the way, pay for that AP with their tax dollars!

  • John Golembiewski

    Note that they release Mr. Barrons name but, not the name of the assistant Principal.

    • Pi10107

      Her name is Melissa Provo and she is hiding under her desk. If there is any justice, she will be fired.

      • John Golembiewski

        And you know her name because?

        • Andy Price

          Because it’s easy to go to the school web site and find it.

          • John Golembiewski

            Never thought of that and there may be more than one AP.

          • green_velvet

            Look it up yourself, you donkey. People give you an answer and you simply ask another question. If they told you they knew because they attend the school, you’d be asking “but how can I know for sure that you’re even a student”.

  • Billy Blake

    Hummmm two weeks before retirement. I can only think that has something to do with this. How is it a unidentified assistant principal just happen to be in his classroom. He was set up so they would not have to pay his retirement.