Monroe school says teacher made racist comments

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MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A Monroe Public Schools disciplinary document claims a former teacher regularly made racist comments before he was placed on administrative leave after an assistant principal observed a lesson on stereotypes.

The Monroe News reports ( ) the document says students told administrators that Alan Barron had joked about Mexicans being bullies who steal and that he called blacks dumb. The report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request says it was issued as a "written reprimand."

The white teacher was placed on paid leave in May after he showed his eighth-grade history class at Monroe Middle School a video of how white entertainers once used black face paint to imitate blacks. He returned to the classroom three weeks later and retired as planned at the end of the school year after 36 years in the district.

Barron signed and agreed to the accuracy of the document in June. He acknowledged at the time that he made the comments and thought they were funny but said he understood why some people would find them offensive.

Barron recently told the newspaper that his students made the inappropriate jokes and administrators should have spoken further with him. He says administrators could have led the students to say anything in their investigation depending on how they phrased their questions.

"I did not make jokes to my students," Barron said. "I'm 60 years old. Have I ever made a joke like that in my life? Who hasn't? But I never told any to my students."


Information from: Monroe News,

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