APS Teacher Who Racially Harassed Indigenous Students Fired

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Yesterday, Albuquerque Public Schools sent out a press release announcing that Mary Eastin, the teacher who cut a young indigenous woman’s  hair and called another a “bloody indian” on Halloween,  will not be returning to teach at Cibola High School.

Eastin had been on leave while the incident was being investigated.

According to the release, APS will now look into developing “cultural competency training” for  district employees and will seek public input in the development of such training.

“APS doesn’t need cultural competency training, what they need is anti-racism training and continual investment in the values embodied in the trainings,” stated Eduardo Esquivel, New Mexico Dream Team’s education justice organizer. “This is something many community organizations have made clear for along time now, and in the meantime incidents like this one continue to happen.”  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only high-profile case in which educators were racially insensitive and abusive to their students that made national headlines this past Halloween holiday.

In Idaho, several teachers and staffers at an elementary school dressed up as “Mexicans” and others as a border wall that displayed the text “Make America Great Again.”

Even worse, according to an article by People, the superintendent of the district in question said that it wasn’t the teachers intention to upset anyone with their costumes.

“Do I think there was malicious intent in this poor decision? No, I don’t,” he told KGW. “Was there a poor judgement involved? Absolutely.”

Yea, no kidding! However, the superintendent stating that the teachers and staffers had no “malicious intent” in wearing these costumes speaks volumes to his lack of understanding of the subject at hand.

There should never be any condoning of racist acts by educators towards their students like the ones in these high-profile cases. Students have the right to get their education from educators that are open to understand their diverse backgrounds.

No student should be worried of being harassed or embarrassed for who they are by the people that are entrusted by the community to mentor and educated them.

According to KUNM, the ACLU of New Mexico has sent a letter to the district demanding the immediate and long-term protection of the safety of Native American students under APS.