A local history teacher is suing one of his former pupils, alleging that he was subjected to several acts of racism.
Joel Mungo had never seen anything like it in his 21 years as a history teacher at Menchville High School.
“Someone left a banana at my door. The banana was perfectly placed in the doorway,” Mungo told 10 On Your Side.
Mungo shared photos shot two weeks ago with 10 On Your Side. The first incident occurred in October.
“Then it happened once a month,” Mungo explained.
Mungo’s classroom entryway always had a banana in the same place.
“It was clearly a deliberate act,” Mungo stated.
Mungo decided enough was enough after the sixth time.
Mungo alerted Menchville administration, who reviewed CCTV footage and discovered the alleged perpetrator: a 10th-grader in one of Mungo’s classrooms.
“I gave the student a chance to come clean. I asked him, ‘Hey did you do this?’ He said ‘No,’ he played dumb, ‘No idea what you’re talking about.’ So I said ‘OK, go down to the assistant principal.’ I’m the only Black teacher he has. He has six other teachers. No other teachers were involved,” Mungo said.
Mungo claims that the student’s parents were notified, and that he was suspended for two days and removed from Mungo’s class.
“Initially when the parents were contacted, the parents seemed to be truly embarrassed. Then when the student was suspended and the parents were informed, then the parents were irate. It’s 2022. Just to have some type of hate crime is absolutely ridiculous. I was sickened. I was highly upset. So upset, I took the next day off. I didn’t go to work that Friday,” Mungo recalled.
Mungo is currently taking legal action in response to the discriminatory incident.
“I’m just fed up with the racism around, especially at our academic institutions. Coming from the HBCUs and other colleges, the violence threats, the nooses, the bananas and now it’s streaming into public education. It’s time to take a stand and just let people know it will not be tolerated. I know I’m not tolerating it. You have to speak up. You can’t allow it to go on because then it will just continue to go on,” Mungo said.
A representative for Newport News Public Schools tells 10 On Your Side that the district is looking into the claim and has met with Mungo to discuss the discriminatory incident.
The article is paraphrased from the following: EXCLUSIVE: Local history teacher sues student after acts of racism, Michelle Wolf, Apr 4, 2022 / 10:34 PM EDT, https://www.wavy.com/news/local-news/newport-news/exclusive-local-history-teacher-sues-student-after-acts-of-racism/