A child is being applauded for criticizing the way his teacher teaches about Christopher Columbus.
When we're taught about Christopher Columbus in school, we hear the glorified version. We don't hear about how he probably wasn't even the first European to discover the Americas, how he actually thought that he'd landed in India because he believed the world was pear-shaped and much smaller than it actually is, and of course, his brutal treatment of native populations.
Alanya Kolberg took to Facebook to share a school journal entry by a Detroit school child named King.
Alanya Kolberg took to Facebook to share a school journal entry by a Detroit school child named King. In the journal, King blasts his teacher for "teaching lies" about Columbus.
In the letter, King blasts his teacher for "teaching lies" about Columbus.
The entry reads:
"Today was not a good learning day. Blah blah blah I only wanted to hear you not talking."
"You said something wrong and I can't listen when I hear lies," King said.
"You said something wrong and I can't listen when I hear lies. My mom said that the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace."
King went on to call his teacher out on several points.
Christopher Wallace being the birth name of The Notorious B.I.G, of course. The journal continues...
"Columbus didn't find our country the Indians did."
"Because Columbus didn't find our country the Indians did. I like to have Columbus Day off but I want you to not teach me lies. That is all."
King questioned whether white people can teach black history.
"My question for the day is how can white people teach black history?"
The teacher went on to scold King for his remarks.
The teacher replied to the entry with: "King I am very disappointed in your journal today." To which King replied: "Ok."
Savage. Unsurprisingly, social media was all about the journal entry.
Unsurprisingly, social media was all about the journal entry.
"King, I am VERY proud of your journal today," wrote someone on Twitter. Another added, “If this doesn’t remind me of my parents showing up at my Catholic HS after my AP World Civ. tried to convince me that Hannibal Barca wasn’t Black…”
For many, it was a reminder of bad teachers they had as children.
"If this doesn't remind me of my parents showing up at my Catholic HS after my AP World Civ. teacher tried to convince me that Hannibal Barca wasn't Black," one user explained.
Some pointed out King's use of the term Indian.
Some user's pointed out King's use of the term Indian as opposed to Native American, though others were quick to point out that many adults still use the term.
"Obviously it’s incorrect but still a common name even used by Natives themselves," one user wrote.
Many defended King.
Another added: "His teacher isn't teaching facts so he may not know that Native Americans is the correct 'name'."
And another user joked: "I hope his mom also teaches him to clarify which Christopher Wallace they're talking about."
Some users saw it as a missed opportunity by the teacher.
"That teacher missed a chance for a student-led investigation, a higher-level project on different views of history, and asking the next question," one user explained. "We don’t teach to protect our position & our ego, we teach to empower students to seek higher truths."
Others called the lesson plan "Eurocentric and dehumanizing."
One Twitter user concluded: "He critiqued her Eurocentric and dehumanizing lesson plan, and the cherry on top is that he did it without name-calling. If this were my kid, I would frame this page and buy him a pizza. (And start researching better schools for him to thrive in.)"
Other teachers also contributed to the discussion.
"King, I was a teacher before I became a social worker," another commenter added. I would NEVER use red pens or criticism in a student's journal. Great job standing up for what you believe is correct! I bet your Mom can help the teacher learn more about our country. Keep up the good work."
Others ladled on praise for King.
Others ladled on praise for King, with one writing: "Go King! Your teacher might someday open her heart to learning from you."
While another added: "10/10 for King. Detention for the 'teacher'."
What do you think?
Others blasted the teacher, with one person writing: "I'm disappointed in the teacher. although the kid should've said 'indigenous peoples' instead of using 'Indians', he was speaking the truth & it was a great moment for the teacher to respect him and engage in how she could do better instead of her basically trying to shame him."