Is this teacher stupid? Does he have no common sense? Is he a rude humbug Scrooge? Racist? An ignorant insensitive, hurtful moron?
The teacher shouldn't have said a damn word criticizing the student. The students were asked to dress up as one of three Christmas characters and the black student dressed up as Santa. So what if Santa is portrayed as white. The activity sounds like it encouraged creativity, imagination, and fun. The teacher ruined the spirit of the project. Bah humbug!
I think this teacher is ALL of the above. To me, what he said to the student sounds racist. I'm not sure there is any other way to take what he stated.
The teacher did apologize and was put on paid administrative leave. Here is a statement from the director of Rio Rancho Public Schools:
"This situation involves a teacher recently hired by Cleveland High who made -- and admits he made -- a stupid mistake," the director said. "The remark was inappropriate and should not have been made. The teacher feels very badly about what occurred. He self-reported the incident to the principal and has apologized to the student and to the student's parent. Appropriate disciplinary action has been taken."
Michael Rougier, the student's dad, believes the teacher should be fired. The teacher has apologized to both the student and his father, and has been put on leave so anything more would be taking this incident out of proportion IMO.
One more thought: Maybe the teacher misspoke stupidly and really isn't racist. But his statement certainly shows a racist tendency.