Earlier this morning I was talking with a White co-worker whom I talk with frequently. She is the type of person who if it is on her mind, she can't stop it from coming out if she tried. Rather it is good, bad, or indifferent, she is going to say it. Because of that personality trait, I typically accept the way she tells a story is typically the way it happened. So any way, she was telling me about a few years ago her 4th grade son who had always gotten straight A's started getting straight F's and kept coming up with excuses why he didn't want to go to school. After a while of this, she called his teacher, who was Black and in her first year of teaching, to requested a meeting. During the discussion, the teacher indicated that her son had a smart mouth. She agreed that her son was smart mouth but that he had not had a bad problem with his previous teachers and especially not such a dramatic decline in his academic performance. The teacher said straight up "I just don't like him". They never got heated, but they agreed that they would request another class for him. She contacted the Assistant Principle that was also Black but they knew him very well and had dealt with him many times over the years to ask for a teacher change. He said he was unable to change teachers but that they would have another meeting between him, the teacher, her and her husband. Between that time and the meeting, she talked with her son more to demand that he not be a smart mouth and to ask his side of the story as to why they did not like each other. Her son told her that he could not understand his teacher most of the time so he often asked her to repeat herself, which irritated her. During the meeting, she told the teacher and the Assistant principle that she and instructed her son to be respectful but asked if the teacher could announciate more carefully. She said the teacher became outraged and called her son, her husband, and her racist. She said she did not like being called a racist but explained to the teacher that she was difficult to understand and that "We just ain't used to Ebonics". She said this really outraged the teacher who basically "went off". She said she looked at the AP said "Do you see what I mean, could you understand what she just said" The AP said "No, I am afraid not" The teacher then said "I can't believe this, you are Black, you are supposed to be on my side" to which he said "I am supposed to bring a resolution and mediate what is RIGHT". Since they still could not change classes they agreed that they would do the best the could to get along. Finish the school year and they would never have to see each other again. Two years later, her son shows up in class on the first day and guess who is there. She said her son came and told her about it and she called the AP. The AP said, lets give it a chance. If it doesn't work out, we will get him a new teacher, we are in a little better position to do that now. After a while, she had kind of forgotten about it because her son had not brought home any complaints. She decided to call the teacher and ask if her son had been respectful because she had instructed him to be and she had not heard anything either way. The teacher said "oooh, He is fine" So she then talked with her son. He said, "Mrs Web is my favorite teacher now". She said she talked back with the teacher to find out what had turned things around. She said the teacher told her that she was a new teacher then and had not learned how to better deal with smart mouth students. She said she is much more firm in dealing with the students now but able to demand and command respect from them. She said the teacher appologized for calling her a racist back then and said she really enjoys teaching her son. I thought it was an interesting story, so I shared.