Afternoon Vibes with Ms. Jessica

Black History Month

The Story Behind The Door Decorations at a Local High School

Earlier this week, HBCU Pride Nation took to their Instagram page to share a picture of 2 classroom doors at West Charlotte High School.  One door said "Colored Entrance", the other said "White Entrance", and in the middle, there was a sign that read "Sears Department Store 1930". (Remember that because that will be an important part of this story.)  The caption of the post began with, "How do we feel about the decor that a teacher at West Charlotte High School decided to use for Black History Month?" When I first saw the post, there were about 3 comments.  Today, there are over 300 comments.  In addition to that, the picture has made its way to various news sites and gossip blogs.  Some people love the doors, some people hate them.  A lot of people had questions.  So I decided to call some of my amazing friends that work at The Dub C, and get a little more insight in these controversial decorated doors.  Here's what I learned. The doors were apart of a door decorating contest for Black History Month and each one was supposed to tell a story.  These depict the story of Sears and how the department store helped oppose Jim Crow.  I had no idea about this piece of Black history so I immediately Googled the story.  I encourage you to do the same.  It is very interesting! The teacher that decorated the doors is Black and every person that I talked to said how creative she is and how she prides herself on teaching students our stories.  It is also important to note that she decorated multiple doors for the competition.  (I will post pictures of some of them below) When I asked about the students and their reaction to the doors, I was told that the students had no problem with them.  As a matter of fact, the decorations sparked enlightening conversations between the students and the teachers. Allegedly, the doors were reported by 2 other teachers at the school who thought they were inappropriate.  In less than a day, the decorations were taken down and CMS issued a statement, “The school district is required to provide social studies and history lessons to all our students in an age-appropriate manner. Teachers at West Charlotte High School decorated doors that displayed inappropriate content."  The statement went on to say, “The activity is not aligned to state standards or with CMS curriculum and approved lesson plans." CMS also stated that they plan to "retrain" teachers on the specific social studies curriculum practices that can be used in lesson plans and teaching moving forward. Now that you have a little more perspective, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Should these decorated doors have been taken down?  Head on over to my IG page @heymsjessica and join in on the conversation. Before I go, I have to highlight the amazing work that the student and staff are doing at West Charlotte High School.  In one year, the high school exceeded academic growth and was removed from the NC school's “low-performing list.”  And even though this school year is not complete, they continue to trend in a positive direction based on the available data.  If they "exceed growth" for a second consecutive year, it will be the 1st time in the school's history!  And I am sure they will do it!  BTW, an NBA player graduated from West Charlotte High School recently.  Click HERE to find out who it is. If you are interested in learning more about West Charlotte High School and/or volunteering, you can contact them at 980-343-6060.  DUB C....YOU KNOW! [gallery size="full" ids="419819,419822,419825,419828,419831,419834,419837,419840,419843,419846,419849"]

More Black History Month