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September 28th, 2012
10:05 PM ET

Students: Teacher segregated black kids

Gary Tuchman reports on a sixth grade teacher in Minnesota who is accused of putting black and special needs students in the back of his classroom. Timothy Olmsted was placed on leave this past January, and then resigned two months later. But, he's still getting paid.

"He separated me from the white kids and sent me to the other side of the room where all the black kids were," a 12-year-old girl said. Black students told their parents and grandparents that Olmsted repeatedly called them "stupid, sloppy, and disgusting."

Some of the children and their families have filed a civil lawsuit against Olmsted and the The St. Paul School District. Watch the report and see what happens when our crew asks Olmsted about the allegations.

UPDATE: The federal racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the families against the St. Paul, Minnesota school district has been settled. It provided a monetary award to the families. The amount, and other terms of the settlement have been ordered by the court to be kept confidential. Following the settlement, the same school district sent this letter to Timothy Olmsted’s attorney.

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Filed under: Education • Race in America
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. zahid

    can anyone please tell me when will the racism will end ?this is just ridicules , i bearly have my tear on my eyes too for these girls

    October 4, 2012 at 5:09 am |
  2. rebecca bell

    when we lived in clio, alabama the teacherr in my son's class had the only four white students in the class at the four corner' s of the classroom.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  3. Rob N. Hare

    I'm not surprised and nothing has changed in this country.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Mark G.

    You cannot help but feel sypmathy for these children. What a terrible thing to happen to them. Life is hard enough as it is without having to face bigotry and racism. Good for CNN to expose this.I hope these kids know that there are plenty of white folks who love them and care about them. I hope they can go into the world with confidence and love in their hearts.

    October 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  5. JanetMermaid

    The fact that this is still going on in 2012 shows just how little we've evolved as a species.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  6. belinda

    I cannot think of anything more despicable for a Teacher to do . I remember a Thomas Jefferson Principal ( S. A. Tx.) in the late nineties, making a comment to Special Need Students, that they shouldn't even be allowed in the Regular School Area. He is lucky, my son, learning disabled at the time ( Now, he makes more money, than most Regular Students , he went to School with) insisted on my not reporting him. I would have gone straight to the Media. Isn't this against the Law ? Who would support this man ?

    October 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Conor McCartney

      what about slapping a student? Or making them wear a dunce cap? or making them write on the board that they are stupid?.. are those worse

      October 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Matt

      The teachers union and the Democratic Party support all types of poor teachers. Teachers vote. Parents want the best for their kids so they support teachers. i am certain good teachers would not support this one.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  7. Dr Murphy

    The united states will always have racial people,many families teach their children how to treat other races when they encounter them,from a ceo to a garbage truck driver,manny carribean blacks are oppressed by carribean hispanics manny american blacks are oppressed by american whites and manny mexicans are oppressed by cubans,i have witness this and have been told several times by these people,and i still encounter this treatment myself.this teacher is a product of this.

    September 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Ryan

      Differences do not bring people together, never in the history of the world has multiculturalism evolved, so these instances are understandable if not expected.

      October 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  8. Wayne Cooper

    As a Retired Special Education Teacher for 35-years: I am made to stand at awe when I read articles such as this. As a Male teacher I worked with My Parents. Sent a Weekly LESSON PLAN, as what I plan to cover through out that week. For commucation: Parents VS Teacher, I gave My phone number at My Home for them to use Monday thru Thursday between 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm regarding problems that they might have. Each Parents repected this.The more that I read regarding Teachers, I just don't understand why they are in Education. A Child is the Most Precious Gift that a Parent or a Teacher could ever have. I have no idea how a Person can be Screened Out to Seek the Reason they have choosen to be Teacher? What can I say to You The Parent ? I really Can't: In closing I want You to know, that I NEVER OR COULD I HAVE A CHILD THAT I DIDN'T LIKE. ( A TEACHER WHO CARES;)

    September 30, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  9. Cruz

    Where did the albino kids sit?

    September 30, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  10. MARGARET REYNARD

    As a mother of a teacher in the Delaware County/Springfield school district, I can attest to the type of behavior our teachers are subjected to daily. The schools are out of control, particularily student behavior in the poorer neighborhoods.My daughter has been subjected to a continous barage of horrible conduct -from students constantly disrupting the classroom, throwing paper airplanes and pencils at the teacher, standing on desks, not doing the assigned work, verbally abusing the teacher, and afterwards, the teacher gets no support from administration to address these problems. The administration itself is part of the problem by turning its back on addressing behavior which impedes all students' learning. I believe when the facts come out, we'll find out that the Minnesota teacher has been a subject of this type of abuse, and when he addressed it, it becomes a racial issue as opposed to a behavioral issue. It's time also, that the teachers grow a spine and enforce proper behavior with administrative support. Its time that parents take responsibility for their childrens' conduct and be held liable for this type of conduct. In all fairness, I suggest that CNN present a hidden-camera documentary on the life of an average school teacher and get the true facts before siding with one side or another.

    September 29, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Rose

      I would welcome that hidden documentary... I think you find there are as many bad teachers as there are bad students. I realize some teachers are dedicated and overworked but that is not to say that horrible teachers do not exist. I had a few myself, like the old guy that sat on the edge of his desk touching his balls all day and putting the kids struggling in math in one corner and calling them stupid and worthless and constantly embarrassing them in front of other students. Yes it is ok to point out the other side but you sounded as though these students were just playing a race card when they are problems. You do not know that to be true but obviously your mind goes directly there. I could write a book about what I have seen with teachers and administrators that don't belong in reach of our children.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Matt

      An execellent point. I would like to see video cameras in these types of class rooms to see what is really happening. Poor behaviors by a few students can disrupt the education of an entire class. Teachers have few options when trying to deal with issues. The parents of good kids should be outraged that their childrens classes are out of control and class time is wasted by poorly behaving kids. Splitting up kids that don't behave has been going on forever. I doubt we have all the facts in this case from this video. If the teacher is a fault deal with it. If it's student behaviors then parents should be held accountable.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  11. lpace98

    This is horrible. These practices must be identified and stopped not only in Minnesota but all over the country. I suggest parents drop by the school periodically and see for themselves where their child is sitting in the classroom.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:33 am |
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    September 29, 2012 at 7:21 am |