Teacher Removed From School After Hanging Black Doll From Cord

By Erika Hanson | 3 months ago

Black doll

Public schools are fraught with issues. In Florida, educators argue over controversial legislative bills designed to keep gender and sexuality conversations out of elementary classrooms. In Oregon, a string of sex crimes tied between teachers and minors has devastated the state’s trust in public schools. And now Illinois is reeling from a controversial incident that took place at Michele Obama’s former High School, as a Black doll appeared to be lynched in a classroom.

This Monday, a heated argument broke out at the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois. The dispute, which was videotaped and shared by students on social media, showcased the argument that began after a Black teacher confronted a white teacher for something he found very disturbing. The white teacher, identified by the Daily Mail as Carl Pasowicz, had hung a black football doll around the neck from a projector cord in the front of his History classroom.

According to information from The Chicago Times, school officials told reporters that Pasowicz stated he hung the Black doll because he found it in his classroom. Hanging the doll was his way of seeing if anyone in his high school classroom would claim it as theirs. But if he had no intention of causing controversy with how the Black doll seemed to portray a lynching, then it would be interesting to know what his intentions were. Was it just simply to call out the owner of the doll for having it in the classroom?

black doll

After an unidentified Black teacher approached Pasowicz about the Black doll, a heated argument broke out between the two educators right in front of the classroom. The conversation, which was claimed to have been caught on video and shared by students via Snapchat, depicted the teachers bantering back and forth with some vulgar name-calling. “’You’re f—— stupid,” one teacher replied. “You’re even more stupid,” the other shouts. 

School officials, staff, and students gathered after the incident to discuss what happened with the Black doll. After the Black teacher involved didn’t show for some classes on Tuesday, reports of students threatening a walkout in protest claimed that students said they would “start a riot” over the Black teacher who they thought was being removed. Pasowicz was removed from his post, but his status as an employee is still unknown. A Change.org petition also has erupted following the incident that sheds light on a string of other issues claimed to have happened over the years that Psowicz taught at the school.

According to information within the petition, Pasowicz had spread bigotry and misinformation within the walls of Whitney Young High School for years. It alleged he uses slurs against trans and Asian people, and openly disparaged the Black Lives Matter movement. The petition also claims the history teacher tried minimizing the impact of the hanging Black doll in his classroom.

Black doll

While it is now known that Pasowicz was removed from his post, for the time being, his future with the school remains unknown. Similarly, there is no official word on whether or not the Black teacher will also be reprimanded for his heated argument as well in front of the students. Regardless, the act grabbed the attention of the Chicago Teachers Union. Addressing the issue with the Black doll, the union released a statement saying that “Practices that mitigate the harm of racial biases must be…consistent, in our schools.” Additionally, the statement called on Chicago Mayor Lightfoot to step in, as he has a responsibility to provide a “safe space for every member of our school communities.”

Michelle Obama graduated from the same school in 1981. During her time there, she called it a “formative experience.” The Whitney M. Young Magnet High School’s student population is almost entirely made up of Black and Hispanic children. And as the growing demand from the community continues to call for the permanent removal of Pasowicz from the school, what happens next will surely be met with wary eyes.