Hold O'Rourke Accountable

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Clark student started this petition to School City of Hammond and

Last Friday George Rogers Clark High School suspended English teacher, Thomas O'Rourke. On the first day of school, Wednesday, August 19th, while explaining to one of his class on how name-calling should be directed towards him and not fellow classmates he chose to say the n-word with the hard r as an example. For one he is a white man saying a slur that he cannot reclaim, many past students have come out sharing that this wasn't his first time saying it either. 

Many people think he got suspended for just the n-word, but that's not true. While the students were supposed to watch a film about WW2 he started telling the students "systemic racism does not exist, white people were slaves too but they don't talk about that." His example of why it doesn't exist is because one of the school's deans has a better position than him for being a Black man. "Black lives matter has SOME validity to it." "illegal aliens a lot of times are criminals and them getting detained and put in cages isn't entirely right, but they know the consequences." These are just some examples of what he said, and sadly he stated these opinions as if they were facts. (Mind you, this wasn't a class discussion, it was randomly brought up over a WW2 film) 

Former students are not being told the full story, and with that, they choose to defend him based on their own pleasant experiences to erase the experience of those ( POC, mainly Black students ) who had uncomfortable and bad experiences with him. Mr. O'Rourke admitted to saying these comments to his higherups; and that lead to his suspension. Despite there being a teacher shortage, SCH still decided to suspend him and have an ongoing investigation to show the severity of this situation. 

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