Students at Pedagogical Center at UFMG
Teacher calls student ‘monkey’ in a room of the Centro Pedagógico da UFMG (Teaching Centre of UFMG). The University opened an administrative process to investigate the case. According to the director, the teacher admitted to calling the boy ‘monkey’, but not racist in tone.
The UFMG (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) opened administrative proceedings on Wednesday (20) to investigate a complaint of racism made by the mother of a student at the Centro Pedagógico da Escola de Educação e Profissionalização (Pedagogical Centre of the School of Education and Professionalization), a special school unit of primary education of the university, located in the Campus Pampulha in Belo Horizonte.
The 14 year old black student was called “monkey” by the Portuguese teacher, 49, whose name was not released at the end of class on Monday (18).
According to the director of the Pedagogical Center, Tânia Costa Lima, on that day, the teacher showed students the film The Pursuit of Happiness (2006, entitled À Procura da Felicidade in Brazil). After the showing of the film, as the student “joked around” and “talked” in the classroom, the teacher called him “monkey”.
“I talked to everyone involved, the student, the teacher, the monitor, the student’s parents and other students. The teacher confirmed the fact, but says he meant no offense. For him, his comment was taken out of context. The student, in turn, was offended and complained to his parents. It’s a new situation that we’ve never experienced. Thus, UFMG chose to open the administrative process so that the case can be better evaluated,” said the director, a teacher for 30 years at the school.
According to the director, the teacher may get a verbal warning or even be expelled from the ranks of UFMG. The committee that will evaluate the fact, formed by three teachers from the university has 60 days to investigate the facts and issue its decision.
The mother of the student said she will record a Boletim de Ocorrência (incident report) with the Military Police. “My son is very upset. I don’t know what will happen going forward. I think that he [teacher] is who needs to go back to school. I’ll send an e-mail to the university that he will be transferred. I think I have to warn (them).”
The professor has a doctorate in linguistics, has taught for 20 years in Pedagogical Center and this is the first administrative issue facing UFMG, explained the director.
Controversy in law school
Another case of racism gained national repercussion last week at the Law School of UFMG. Photos of a controversial hazing performed by students of the program were disclosed in a Facebook profile and show a student with the body painted with black paint, chained and pulled by a university “upperclassman”. The girl bears a plaque with the words “freshman Chica da Silva” in reference to the famous slave who lived in the 18th century in Diamantina, freed after being involved in a relationship with a diamond contractor. In another image, a freshman is tied to a pillar while three other students do a Nazi salute. One wore painted a mustache similar to that of German dictator Adolf Hitler. Full story here.
With 68 years of existence, the Pedagogical Center is a “laboratory” for teachers who graduate from UFMG. There are only two classes of 50 students in each period, from 1st to 9th grade of elementary school. The school works full time and students are monitored in each subject by a teacher and a monitor from the Faculty of Education at UFMG. The selection of students, most with family income of less one than minimum salary, is made by lottery.
Source: Pragmatismo Político
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