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Tags lawsuits , New York incidents , racism charges , racism incidents , school incidents

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Old 9th January 2020, 06:37 PM   #1
William Parcher
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Monkey See. Monkey Do. Oops $12 million.

Parents of four black students plan to sue a New York school district for $12 million after a teacher wrote 'monkey do' above an image of their children outside zoo's gorilla enclosure and showed it to a class

Originally Posted by Daily Mail
Four black students and their families are planning to sue a New York school district for $12 million after a teacher played a slideshow featuring an image of them captioned 'monkey do' to a class. The photograph of the Longwood High School students - which was taken during a field trip to the Bronx Zoo in November - shows the four teenagers standing in a line with their arms resting on the back of the person ahead of them.

The image was then featured in a 'grossly racist' slideshow played during a zoology class on December 20, with the phrase 'monkey do' typed above the image, the New York Post reported.

Lawyer John Ray, who is representing three of the students, said teachers had 'created and manipulated' the photograph and placed it between a picture of monkeys captioned 'monkey see' and a photo of a gorilla in the presentation. He added this was 'thereby misusing the pidgin expression, "Monkey See, Monkey Do" for racially discriminatory and offensive purposes'.

In a notice of the $12 million claim, Ray claimed the students were 'deliberately persuaded, tricked and cajoled' into posing for the photograph which was taken next to the gorilla exhibit.

Students Jahkeem Moye, Khevin Beaubrun, Gykye Murray and Desmond Dent Jr alleged two teachers told them to pose in the unusual way while on the field trip, ABC News reported. 'Us four, we all felt uncomfortable with this,' Beaubrun said. 'We all thought it was weird'. Moye added: 'I didn't know, like that they were going to put it in that perspective and show us, compare us to monkeys'.

The slideshow exposed 'claimant students ... to ridicule, embarrassment and shame, anxiety, fear and emotional harm', the document claims.

The four students and their families now intend to sue the school district for $12 million for emotional distress and violation of their civil rights.

Michael Lonergan, superintendent of the Longwood Central School District, has dubbed the slideshow 'culturally insensitive' and an 'unfortunate lapse of judgment'...
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...2-million.html
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:07 PM   #2
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Ker Ching!
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:44 PM   #3
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Goes to show: In the USA, lawyers make VERY good money.
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Old 9th January 2020, 07:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Goes to show: In the USA, lawyers make VERY good money.
Well you know what they say, "You pay peanuts..."
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Old 9th January 2020, 08:48 PM   #5
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Yeah, those folks are gonna be rich.

Man, you have to be a special kind of moron to do something like that.
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Old 9th January 2020, 09:37 PM   #6
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How would the judge or whoever determine whether this amount is fair or not?
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Old 9th January 2020, 09:44 PM   #7
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Juries award unrealistic amounts and then judges reduce it to fit the real world that we live in. The kids will get about $5,000 each. Maybe less.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:17 PM   #8
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If it gets to a jury. More likely a settlement, maybe?

IANAL, but my guess is they will eventually settle for an undisclosed amount and the case will be dropped. The teacher(s) in question may be fired.
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Old 9th January 2020, 10:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
If it gets to a jury. More likely a settlement, maybe?

IANAL, but my guess is they will eventually settle for an undisclosed amount and the case will be dropped. The teacher(s) in question may be fired.
Personally hope they have to pay 12 mill. And the same for the next and the next and the next.....

They might actually sort it out.
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Old 9th January 2020, 11:33 PM   #10
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I don't see the problem, kids are often compared to monkeys, I was always called a monkey as a child, it was meant to be endearing. Because they're black they can't be playfully compared to monkeys? Why?
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Doghouse Reilly View Post
I don't see the problem, kids are often compared to monkeys, I was always called a monkey as a child, it was meant to be endearing. Because they're black they can't be playfully compared to monkeys? Why?
Dark skinned races have decided that "monkey" is an especially offensive word. Calling an indigenous Australian a monkey is almost enough to convict you of a hate crime (or at least, get you a life time ban from all football matches).
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Doghouse Reilly View Post
I don't see the problem, kids are often compared to monkeys, I was always called a monkey as a child, it was meant to be endearing. Because they're black they can't be playfully compared to monkeys? Why?
Please tell me you are joking.

Tell you what, go to your nearest black neighbourhood and start calling random people monkeys. I hope your family has funeral insurance.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Dark skinned races have decided that "monkey" is an especially offensive word. Calling an indigenous Australian a monkey is almost enough to convict you of a hate crime (or at least, get you a life time ban from all football matches).
Before today I didn’t think this needed to be pointed out.

Oh, by the way, calling a young child a “cheeky monkey” is not in the same ball park as the OP. It’s not even in the same universe.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Doghouse Reilly View Post
I don't see the problem, kids are often compared to monkeys, I was always called a monkey as a child, it was meant to be endearing. Because they're black they can't be playfully compared to monkeys? Why?
You may be being a little obtuse here. I might safely refer to my own children as monkeys, but there's a history of racist insults targeted at blacks calling them monkeys or whatnot.

In Europe for example, racist soccer fans will taunt black players with monkey noises or throw bananas at them... It's been a serious problem.

See this recent article for some context, but obviously the problem was not just limited to soccer in Europe:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/17/f...ntl/index.html

To stay on the safe side, just don't compare black people to monkeys or apes, ever, for any reason. That seems simple enough to me.
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Old 10th January 2020, 01:47 AM   #15
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Reminds me of this clip from Clerks 2:

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Old 10th January 2020, 03:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
You may be being a little obtuse here. I might safely refer to my own children as monkeys, but there's a history of racist insults targeted at blacks calling them monkeys or whatnot.



In Europe for example, racist soccer fans will taunt black players with monkey noises or throw bananas at them... It's been a serious problem.



See this recent article for some context, but obviously the problem was not just limited to soccer in Europe:



https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/17/f...ntl/index.html



To stay on the safe side, just don't compare black people to monkeys or apes, ever, for any reason. That seems simple enough to me.
Purely my opinion

But thinking they were being windy uppy, purposefully obtuse
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Old 10th January 2020, 03:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Juries award unrealistic amounts and then judges reduce it to fit the real world that we live in. The kids will get about $5,000 each. Maybe less.
While I do have some issues with the amount some people demand in lawsuits, in this case, if the claims are true, then I hope that the punitive damages are high enough to make the school's staff think twice about trying this sort of racist stunt ever again.
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Old 10th January 2020, 03:16 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller View Post
Reminds me of this clip from Clerks 2:

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It shows how some slurs can be quite culturally specific. Coming from the cold north it took me sometime to work out what this meant. We don't have porches. at least not ones that people sit in, they are more like airlocks to stop the cold, wind and rain coming in when you go out. So the connotation of being lazy and lolling on the porch took some working out.

Cheeky monkey would be a widely used term to children when I was little, with no racial connotations, but certainly now one would not want to use it about any but the most blonde of tykes.
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Old 10th January 2020, 03:24 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
While I do have some issues with the amount some people demand in lawsuits, in this case, if the claims are true, then I hope that the punitive damages are high enough to make the school's staff think twice about trying this sort of racist stunt ever again.
This pretty much.

PhantomWolf just says it better than me
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Old 10th January 2020, 03:55 AM   #20
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The issues I have with this
1. The students plan to sue. The process has not started.
2. It is published in the daily fail. May be a media beat up.
3. I want to know the result of the case. The judge might have a different opinion.
4. Is this a single racist photo or one incident in many?
5. Critical facts may be missing.
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Old 10th January 2020, 04:09 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Parents of four black students plan to sue a New York school district for $12 million after a teacher wrote 'monkey do' above an image of their children outside zoo's gorilla enclosure and showed it to a class



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...2-million.html
Anxiety and emotional harm? I'd call it rage, and request that the teacher be fired with prejudice (and also about prejudice) in addition to a kaching.
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Old 10th January 2020, 04:12 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Anxiety and emotional harm? I'd call it rage, and request that the teacher be fired with prejudice (and also about prejudice) in addition to a kaching.
Nonsense about the highlighted. The students didn't suffer $12M worth of harm.

The teacher should be sacked and the school offer an apology.
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Old 10th January 2020, 04:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Nonsense about the highlighted. The students didn't suffer $12M worth of harm.

The teacher should be sacked and the school offer an apology.
Maybe not, but the school district deserves $12m worth of punishment.
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Old 10th January 2020, 04:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Nonsense about the highlighted. The students didn't suffer $12M worth of harm.
It's not about the harm, as you'd know if you read my post. It's about slapping the school's hand so it doesn't do that again.
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Old 10th January 2020, 04:56 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Nonsense about the highlighted. The students didn't suffer $12M worth of harm.



The teacher should be sacked and the school offer an apology.
Um no.

The school should be made an example of, sued and ridiculed nationwide
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Old 10th January 2020, 06:10 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Maybe not, but the school district deserves $12m worth of punishment.
I assume the insurance company will pay out? School districts in general may face an increase in premiums.

Alternatively all the other school children will get $12 million less in education. This is the problem I have with punitive damages against public bodies*, the consequence falls on the public either with increased taxes or decreased services, probably some of each. Some lawyers will take 30%? of the damages and these children may be sent to private schools and have a college fund. In reality the harm from this particular incident to them is minor.

The appropriate action is disciplinary against the teachers concerned, probably educational for staff. Possibly re-writing of codes and curricula.

* Another example is the $10 billion in damages awarded against Sudan one of the poorer countries in the world for the bombing of USS Cole. The award is to the people from the richest country in the world. All the people injured or killed and the families will be getting benefits which would make them wealthy in Sudan, the damages will save no one from a life of poverty but may maintain many in poverty. The $10 billion is going to come from education and health services to the poor. Who or what is being punished with punitive damages levied against a country like Sudan. Even the costs of defending such cases in US courts is likely to be difficult for Sudan. $10 billion is greater than the annual revenue for the government, for comparison this is like the US having to pay out $4 trillion for shooting down the Iranian airliner that killed 290 people for which $300 million was paid out by the US.
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Old 10th January 2020, 06:18 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It's not about the harm, as you'd know if you read my post. It's about slapping the school's hand so it doesn't do that again.
But the school didn't do anything. One teacher acted independently, now the taxpayers of the district have to cough up.

Does it matter that the teacher is black? Is it playful, or still hateful?
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:08 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
But the school didn't do anything. One teacher acted independently, now the taxpayers of the district have to cough up.
Teachers, on duty, are fully representatives of the school. They are not independent.
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:19 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
But the school didn't do anything. One teacher acted independently, now the taxpayers of the district have to cough up.
Two teachers.

The school and the district do the hiring, training, and supervision of teachers. They set the norms and expectations for their staff.

The taxpayers, of course, have a vested interest in how their money is being spent. They have the standing to oversee the schools they're paying for, and the responsibility to do so.

These kinds of things don't happen in a vacuum. These teachers were somehow under the impression that comparing their black students to monkeys was okay. I think the entire "chain of command" is implicated in the evolution of these norms. Everyone - teachers, administrators, taxpayers - need to feel the bite of that responsibility. And the shame and chagrin of allowing these norms to blossom in their schools.
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:24 AM   #30
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1. No human being alive in the developed world is ignorant that using ape/monkey imagery to refer to black people is problematic. We can just skip the "Waaaat? Oh lordy me I just never knew this was an issue" game people try and play every time this topic comes up.

2. "Oh but my grandfather called me a monkey growing up I don't see the issue..." Are you the subject of a century long campaign of organized dehumanization based on comparing your race to lower forms of life? No? Then shut up.

3. "KACHING Oh it's all about the money" As noted the odds of the children getting anywhere near the stated amount are nil.
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:33 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
But the school didn't do anything. One teacher acted independently, now the taxpayers of the district have to cough up.
You must be aware that employers are often held responsible for the behaviour of their employees, no?
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:37 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I assume the insurance company will pay out? School districts in general may face an increase in premiums.

Alternatively all the other school children will get $12 million less in education. This is the problem I have with punitive damages against public bodies*, the consequence falls on the public either with increased taxes or decreased services, probably some of each. Some lawyers will take 30%? of the damages and these children may be sent to private schools and have a college fund. In reality the harm from this particular incident to them is minor.

The appropriate action is disciplinary against the teachers concerned, probably educational for staff. Possibly re-writing of codes and curricula.

* Another example is the $10 billion in damages awarded against Sudan one of the poorer countries in the world for the bombing of USS Cole. The award is to the people from the richest country in the world. All the people injured or killed and the families will be getting benefits which would make them wealthy in Sudan, the damages will save no one from a life of poverty but may maintain many in poverty. The $10 billion is going to come from education and health services to the poor. Who or what is being punished with punitive damages levied against a country like Sudan. Even the costs of defending such cases in US courts is likely to be difficult for Sudan. $10 billion is greater than the annual revenue for the government, for comparison this is like the US having to pay out $4 trillion for shooting down the Iranian airliner that killed 290 people for which $300 million was paid out by the US.
I know a children's hospital that pulls the same guilt trip. Every time someone threatens to sue after their kid dies from negligence the hospital bats its eyelashes, summons tears, and says in a quivering voice "but but but we need that money to save the other children!"
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:41 AM   #33
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I gotta say "Racism is just too big to fail" is certainly a novel argument.

"Oh come on now the schools won't have anything left if we have to stop to pay out money for every racist incident..."
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:52 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I gotta say "Racism is just too big to fail" is certainly a novel argument.

"Oh come on now the schools won't have anything left if we have to stop to pay out money for every racist incident..."
They need that money for payouts in sex abuses cases!
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Old 10th January 2020, 07:56 AM   #35
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"If you're not going to spend our money on good teachers and administrators, then probably you should give it back."
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Old 10th January 2020, 08:01 AM   #36
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And it's like the blackface thing. As if not doing it is somehow hard or requires some unreasonable amount of effort.

I'm a really, really white guy ("Whiter then a snowman with a bukakke fetish" - Yahtzee), from the South, had a grandfather who constantly referred to his children and grandchildren as "monkeys" and I take a perverse pride in not being overly and stereotypically "woke" about topics because I don't like the "Holier than though" cause purity that mentality generates... and I still cannot stress enough the absolute bare amount of minimal amount of effort it has taken me in life to be self-aware enough to never use monkey/ape imagery when referring to black people. Like it's not even hard.
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Old 10th January 2020, 08:11 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Does it matter that the teacher is black? Is it playful, or still hateful?
The teacher who did this is white. FWIW.
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Old 10th January 2020, 08:18 AM   #38
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Apparently it took a lot of effort for them to set this up. Way more effort than just... not.
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Old 10th January 2020, 08:22 AM   #39
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Emotions run high at Longwood school board session on controversial slideshow

Originally Posted by Newsday
Emotions ran high at a Longwood Central School District school board meeting Thursday where speakers both supported and criticized a science teacher who last month presented a slideshow with a picture of a monkey next to an image of four black students with captions saying, “Monkey See” and “Monkey Do.”

The educator, Edward Heinrichs, was praised as a “fascinating” and “lovely” teacher by some, including black and Latino students, who said he has always been well-meaning and fiercely dedicated to all students at the district over two decades of teaching. They said he made a “mistake” that should be forgiven.

Others said Heinrichs was kind to them even if they had never taken a course with him. "The teacher in question cared about his students," said Griffin Bell, a recent graduate from Ridge.

But others said his actions must be punished because they caused real, if incalculable, harm to the students who were distraught when they saw pictures of themselves juxtaposed with a primate — a comparison that has historically been used to demean black people as animals who have not evolved into humanity.

The controversy stems from a trip that Longwood High School students took to the Bronx Zoo on Nov. 5. They were taken by another teacher but the slideshow was shown to two advanced zoology classes on Dec. 20 before the December break. The PowerPoint slideshow includes a picture of a monkey with the caption "Monkey See." In the next picture, the students can be seen standing behind each other in size order with their hands on each other's heads with the caption "Monkey Do." The next picture is of a gorilla.

“It scars them forever,” said Beverly Dean, one of dozens of speakers who addressed the school board before a crowd of about 300 people at Longwood High School’s auditorium. “What are we going to do for that student when they are 30 years old and have a flashback?”

But Scott Twining, who said his five children were taught by the teacher under fire, said the slideshow had been a feature of the class for many years and students of all colors were included as a joke, not as a slur meant to harm. “They’re not racist,” he said of the slideshows, adding that he has black relatives and would not hesitate to allow them to be taught by Heinrichs. “They’re meant for fun.”

That address was followed by John Ray, the Miller Place attorney for three families who filed a notice of claim that may lead to a $12 million lawsuit against the district. Ray, who said there “should be consequences for even good people who make a mistake,” drew heckles from the audience when he said Heinrichs’ supporters were dismissing the racial component of the slideshow. He compared the teacher's actions to what he said were other lapses in history...
The short video of the board session is worth watching.

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/...how-1.40457326
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Old 10th January 2020, 08:30 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Apparently it took a lot of effort for them to set this up. Way more effort than just... not.
That's the other thing. This wasn't a verbal slip up that, mountains of context aside, might, might have been a nothingburger in some cases, again mountain of context not withstanding.

It was a goddamn Powerpoint Presentation. You can't just Freudian slip in desktop publishing.
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