He imitated the rapper's Microsoft commercial for his students.
Conscious rapper Common has used his platform to inspire for years. Whether aspiring emcees want to be like him or enlightened youths want to learn from him, Common Sense has used his popularity to motivate others. A Milpitas, California teacher poked fun at the rapper's expense for Halloween, and what he thought was a joke has landed him in trouble with students, teachers, and the community.
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NBC News reports that the unidentified teacher imitated Common, much to the ire of the administration. The Milpitas Unified School District school board president Chris Norwood released a statement saying the teacher "chose to wear black face paint and satirically imitate a TV commercial and well known national social activist of the African American community," adding the move was "inappropriate, unprofessional and insensitive."
Common has been featured on the national campaign for Microsoft as he speaks on the importance of artificial intelligence technology. A student recorded the teacher mocking the commercial in the front of the class as he said, "Opportunities limitless, possibilities senseless, what will you do? Millions of people, not enough to eat, what will we do? With A.I. Microsoft technology, the future...it's up to you. You can do it. With A.I., the future will blow your mind."
The teacher has reportedly been placed on administrative leave, and the School District Superintendent Cheryl Jordan along with the school's principal Francis Rojas released a joint statement condemning the teacher's actions. "In a school community where we welcome learners and families from over 50 languages who represent cultures and religions throughout the world, and where our long-standing neighborhood, Sunnyhills, was established as the first city in the nation for planned integration, it hurts to know that this type of cultural insensitivity and lack of cultural awareness still hovers in the background," the statement said. Watch the clip of the teacher below, along with Common's Microsoft commercial.