Sterchi Elementray Art Teacher Teaches “Cops stick up for each other. They don’t like Black men.”


On April 20, 2021, WVLT published an article titled “Unapproved curriculum” surrounding racial inequality prompts Knox County Schools teacher investigation. The article reports that an art teacher at Sterchi Elementary School presented a lesson to 4th and 5th graders that included the book, Something Happened in Our Town by Donald Moses and Marianne Celano. The book was accompanied by the following video:

The book includes language like, “Cops stick up for each other. They don’t like Black men.” and “The cops shot him because he was Black.”

In a statement to WVLT, Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas said, “We are aware of the situation. This book is not approved for use in our curriculum and I have asked our Human Resources Department to investigate the matter.”

One parent said she did not want the teacher to be fired. She went on to say, “she should be able to teach art. But when you bring in, you know, your own political views or political ideologies, that, you know, I definitely think that’s a no, no.”