Community and church leaders in Fresno are protesting the hiring of a white teacher to teach three classes in African-American, Latino and Southeast Asian studies at a new middle school, reports the Fresno Bee.
Peter Beck has years of experience teaching “cultural studies” at another Fresno school and has led the Men’s Alliance, a leadership class for at-risk teens.
Beck is “highly intelligent,” said Rev. Paul McCoy of New Light for New Life Church of God. However, McCoy believes teachers who look like their students will be more sensitive about topics related to race.
“We’re all faced today with so much dysfunction and violence from young people, and that violence is simply because they don’t know who they are, they don’t know where they come from,” McCoy said at a news event. “They don’t know the responsibility and accountability it takes to become a vital citizen in this country.”
A nearby high school is 58 percent Latino, 18 percent black, 13 percent Asian-American and 9 percent white.