Racist incidents in schools point to deep-seated, structural problems

An MPR News report explores what happened at a Burnsville middle school after the principal was caught on video repeating a student’s use of a racial slur.

The video was broadly shared on social media, and the principal apologized. But teachers, students and parents say the incident sparked widespread use of the epithet known as the n-word.

It's a story that illustrates the effects of racist incidents on students and families and the difficulties Minnesota schools face when trying to address racism.

MPR News host Angela Davis sat down with two experts in equity and education to talk about how schools handle these incidents, the structural racism that underlies them, and how that racism impacts student learning.

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Keith Mayes is a professor of African American & African Studies at the University of Minnesota

Seema Pothini is an equity and diversity consultant and and is the co-author of Case Studies for Equity and Social Justice Education

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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