Black South Jersey teacher claims she endured racial abuse

Cyril Josh Barker | 6/13/2019, 11:11 a.m.

Black school teacher Tammy Jordan was the first Black teacher hired at Larchmont Elementary School in Mount Laurel, N.J. in 25 years. After two years on the job teaching second grade, she is now suing the school system for the racism she endured.

Jordan recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Lawyers say that Larchmont Elementary historically has not hired Black teachers because they are subjected to racism and discrimination.

“Defendants have avoided hiring Black, African-American teachers due to the discrimination and harassment to which Black, African-American teachers are subjected to at Larchmont Elementary School,” the suit said. “Accordingly, there are almost no Black, African-American teachers at Larchmont Elementary School.”

In her suit, Jordan alleges a laundry list of racial mistreatment at the hands of her white co-workers. From comments including questions on whether or not she could understand her fellow teachers’ lesson plans to accusations that she was only hired because of affirmative action and even one co-worker questioning if her grandchildren have the same mother.

She also reported that the white teachers in her grade would intentionally exclude her. The same teachers would take measures to prevent Jordan from getting essential equipment for her classroom. Jordan alleges that her students were hindered from getting access to tools because of her race.

When Jordan reported allegation of racial harassment to the principal, no disciplinary action or investigation was done and she was told to endure the harassment. The principal advised her to be like other Black historical figures who faced racism naming Jackie Robinson and Katherine Johnson.

Reports indicate that during Black History Month, a white teacher told Jordan that students didn’t have time to learn about Black history.

“The Mount Laurel School District will not be deterred from its mission of providing a safe and nurturing environment in which all students receive a high-quality education without regard to their race, religion, sexual identity or any other discriminatory factors,” Superintendent George Rafferty said in a statement last week in response to the lawsuit.