A Black Virginia high school history teacher is suing a white tenth-grade student after he was caught leaving a banana in the doorway of his classroom.
Joel Mungo, a veteran history teacher who has worked at Menchville High School for 21 years, said starting in October 2021 he noticed a banana placed in his classroom doorway.
“Someone left a banana at my door. The banana was perfectly placed in the doorway,” Mungo told WAVY 10.
Unfortunately, the incident soon became a reoccurring incident – with the banana placed in the same spot at least once a month. After several instances, the educator said he had enough.
Per reports, Mungo is reportedly one of the few black teachers at the predominately white Virginia high school and has claimed the recurring gesture was an obvious act of harassment.
Unfortunately, bananas have been used as a form of debasement towards black people, meant to liken them to monkeys who are known to eat the fruit, the gesture overladen with racist overtone.
“It was clearly a deliberate act,” Mungo said. He became so distressed by the racist attack that he was forced to take time off work to decompress and recover.
“It’s 2022. Just to have some type of hate crime is absolutely ridiculous. I was sickened,” he said.
Finally fed up and feeling like it was likely directed at him as a hate crime, he eventually reported the problem to administrators who caught one of his 10th-grade students in the act on surveillance footage.
After finding the culprit, Mungo told reporters that he gave the student a chance to come clean. But even after confronting the 10th grader, the student denied it was him. But with clear evidence against him, the student was disciplined in the form of a two-day suspension along with being transferred out of Mungo’s class.
Mungo is the only Black teacher the student has and was also the only one he pulled the act on. Mungo is certain it was a hate crime. And he was prepared to seek further action against the student.
The teacher also said that he contacted the student’s parents. Initially, they were embarrassed. But, they reportedly became irate once their son was suspended for two days.
According to the lawsuit, the racist act has disturbed the high school teacher so much he is now pursuing legal action.
Joel Mungo also said:
“I’m just fed up with the racism around, especially at our academic institutions. Coming from the HBCUs and other colleges, the bomb 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.”
Watch the video report below: