Skip to content

Teacher fired for lesson on ‘Central Park Five’ out of fear that Black students would riot


photo: via ‏@santanaraymond Twitter. Protestors stand up for Central Park Five

A teacher in New York was fired for revealing how race plays a major role in the justice system. According to a recent lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court, Jeena Lee-Walker was dismissed from her teaching duties at High School for Arts after teaching a lesson about the Central Park Five.

The Central Park Five was a case where five Black and Latino teens were falsely accused and convicted of raping a White woman in New York’s Central Park during the 1980s. They served over a decade in jail before being exonerated.

Lee-Walker wanted to shed light on the subject by showing a documentary on the case which allowed her to connect more with her Black students. However, school administrators were upset with Lee-Walker for her choice. They argued that Black students would be riled up by the film and possibly start a riot.

Lee-Walker soon began receiving a series of poor evaluations and accused of insubordination. She was eventually fired from her job in May. She believes that her firing violated her First Amendment right to discuss the Central Park Five.

Lee-Walker’s case reveals how certain school districts across the nation fail to give students a substantive look at Black history and culture. Racism and its brutal history are subjects that should be required learning for every student in America. It can help a country that continues to struggle with race relations.

Lee-Walker has since filed a suit against the Department of Education and school administrators.


  1. Nigg.Newton on January 8, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    When the JUSTICE is wrong, White people want to say sorry and ask for forgiveness.


  2. guest on January 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    The American way of handling past and present injustices due to racism: ignore, deny or pretend that it happened a long time ago and things aren’t that bad anymore.