Education | Health | Opinion

Vi Waln: Teachers put Indian students' mental health at risk

Vi Waln on teachers who are affecting the well-being of Indian students:
There is one teacher at a local middle school whose behavior was recently brought to my attention. He has been teacher for a long time as he was one of my daughter’s teachers when she was in middle school. I have no idea why he has been allowed to stay in the school system this long because he was making derogatory remarks to my daughter when he was her teacher. He has not changed as he is still disrespecting our Lakota students.

One thing he states to the students is they will never amount to anything because they are “rez kids.” He compares them to the people who pick up cans in the ditches for money and tells them that’s how they are going to be when they reach adulthood. Remember folks, we elect the school board members who make the decisions to hire adults like him.

What do you think disparaging remarks like this do for the mental health of our children and adolescents? It’s totally disgusting to me to know we have people like this still working in our schools. It’s depressing to think about how long they’ve worked there. This teacher I am referring to has been teaching our Lakota children for at least 20 years. How much damage has he done to the countless young minds which were entrusted to him?

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