Things That Matter

This Little Girl Went Missing And A Teacher Blamed Her Parents And Mexican Culture

It seems that these days, we’re inundated with horrific stories of children suffering abuse, going missing, or suffering at the hands of an adult that they placed their trust in. But, it’s less common to hear about a teacher’s opinions about those stories. Well, one teacher decided to weigh in on a recent abduction – and while we’d like to think that most teachers would share words of wisdom in a troubling situation, it seems that this teacher needed some education herself.

Let’s start with the abduction.

Instagram / @empressempire144

Five-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez went missing from a playground in Bridgeton, N.J., in broad daylight on September 16. It was sometime around 4pm, when Dulce and her three-year-old brother were playing together at Bridgeton City Park, after getting ice cream with their mother, Noema Alavez Perez, and a younger family member. They had only been at the park for ten minutes, when the little boy ran back to his mother, crying. It was then that Noema realized something was wrong, and went to look for her daughter. “We thought that she was just hiding, playing around and we went looking for her but we couldn’t find her,” she said in a recent interview with CBS Philadelphia

As soon as the girl’s disappearance went public, the online trolls came out.

Instagram / @hklawfirm

While Noema had notified police of the situation shortly before 5pm, she has faced intense scrutiny in the aftermath of her daughter’s disappearance. Revelations that she was 14 when Dulce was born, that the girl’s father lives in Mexico, that she once smoked marijuana and that she ate a slice of pizza after accepting her daughter’s disappearance all invoked the wrath of both online and offline critics. Because heaven forbid a mother take a break and grab a bite to eat while the police search for her daughter.

If you think matters couldn’t get any worse – this is where the teacher comes in.

Instagram / @ad12590

It was in the midst of this whirlwind of criticism against Noema that one teacher decided to join the fray on Facebook. Jennifer Hewitt Bishop, an elementary school teacher in South Jersey, responded to a post that questioned why Noema sat so far away when her children were playing in the park with, “They’re Mexican, it’s their culture. They don’t supervise their children like we do.”

The school board of where the teacher works, has taken her off of her post.

Instagram / @bring_kids_home

Once officials from Vineland Public Schools became aware of Bishop’s post, they launched an investigation into the matter, and Bishop was promptly taken out of the classroom. It’s not clear whether her absence is simply forced leave, or a suspension. However, it seemed that the school board overseeing Bishop’s position would decide on the matter this coming Wednesday. The president of the Vineland Education Association, Lou Russo, seemed reluctant to publicly condemn Bishop’s remarks, saying that comments online are “often misunderstood and taken out of context by a virtual crowd that rarely takes time to think and reflect or seek clarification before they react with verbal attacks of their own.”

Rest assured, the Twitter community also took the teacher to task.

Twitter / @dogz005

Some were quick to identify that ignorance isn’t really an excuse when it comes to racist remarks – and that Bishop should be fired. And, in fairness, racism is something that is not innate, but learned. It unequivocally doesn’t have a place in the classroom – ergo, there’s no need for racist educators, please and thank you.

Many pointed out that they shared similar parenting styles – allowing children to develop.

Twitter / @trillian215

Others were inspired to defend Noema’s parenting, in light of Bishop’s unfair commentary. In the same way that we shouldn’t blame victims of sexual assault for being assaulted, it’s not a mother’s fault if her child is kidnapped. At the end of the day, the fault still lies with the person who commits the crime – not someone who was unable to prevent the crime.

While others pointed out the teacher’s bigotry and noted it needed to be punished.

Twitter / @CopperSiren

This user smartly pointed out that people who are in positions of authority should not be perpetuating discrimination – and that it’s important to challenge bigotry when it does appear from people who wield power.

The thing is, the real focus should be placed on finding Dulce Maria Alavez – not ridiculous online commentary from a member of the community who should know better. The only positive that can be taken from this situation is that, hopefully, the teacher’s comments and ensuing media coverage can continue to keep Alavez’s profile in the spotlight while she’s missing. On that note, reports say that a light-skinned man with facial acne was seen leading Dulce away from the playground on that fateful afternoon, to a red van with tinted windows. Anyone who has information about the incident is to get in touch with either the Bridgeton police on 856-451-0033, or the State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000, ext. 2554.

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An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

Things That Matter

An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

@goldenstef / Twitter

We are rarely more defensive than we are for our abuelos. The viejitos have always been there for us and seeing them treated unkindly is just heartbreaking. That is what one Twitter user experienced after her abuelo got a wretched note about his decorations outside his home.

This is the horrid letter left for @goldenstef’s abuelo by undesirable neighbors.

The letter, which is filled with misspelled words, calls the abuelo’s house an example of a “low class Mexican family.” The letter was written anonymously by neighbors and delivered to the abuelo in an attempt to shame him into changing his decorations. One of the most bizarre moments in the letter is when the angry author criticized the homeowner for having too many American flags claiming he isn’t patriotic and can’t fool the neighbors. Like, which one is it people?

The Twitter user followed up with photos of the house to show the decorations their abuelo has out front.

People flooded the Twitter post with comments supporting and sending love to the abuelo. Fellow Latinos are ready to stand with the abuelo and some just want the names of the people behind the letter so they can talk to them. Some people are stunned at how far the author was willing to go out of their way to be mean to an old man who just wants to decorate his home and front yard.

Latino Twitter wants to come together to let the abuelo know that his decorations are adorbs.

We need to come together to give her abuelo all of the wonderful decoration we love. Let’s turn his house and front yard into a showcase of all of the greatness that Latin America has to offer.

People are falling in love with this viejitos yard.

Honestly, this is a great yard. Who wouldn’t want a yard like this? This yard is original and adorable and worth all of the praise that we can muster. Thank you to people like this for making their yards something unique and worth seeing.

@goldenstef wants everyone to know just how much they appreciate the sweet messages about their abuelo’s yard.

It costs nothing to be kind. It is even better when you can be kind about something someone clearly cares so much about. Who cares if someone decorates their lawn a little too much. At least they are having fun with their lives and that is something we all need more of right now.

READ: Latinas Are Sharing Their Most Treasured Memories Of Their Abuelos And It’s Exactly What We Needed This Month

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

CBS Television Distribution

Back in the 90s, Tia and Tamera Mowry were experiencing the height of their fame while on the hit show “Sister, Sister.” The series which followed Tia and Tamera as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell saw two actors play the part of two identical twins separated at birth and then accidentally reunited in their teens. It won several Emmys and Kids’ Choice Awards and cemented itself as essential Black TV. As a result, the twin sisters scored roles on other series, movies, and all kinds of media attention. And not for a lack of racist incidents that attempted to hold them back

Recently, Tia opened up about her experience as a Black teen actor in the 90s and shared a story that clearly still hurts her heart.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Tia shared that she and her sister were once rejected from appearing in a teen magazine cover because of their skin color.

Speaking about the incident, Tia recalled how she’d been subjected to racism when she was a teen on the show and attempting to be on the cover of a popular magazine at the time.

“It was around Sister, Sister days. The show was extremely popular. We were beating — like in the ratings — Friends around that time,” Tia said. “So, my sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular magazine at the time — it was a teenage magazine. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”

The actress teared up as she went onto recall that “Here I am as an adult and, wow, it still affects me, how someone could demean your value because of the color of your skin,” she said. “I will never forget that. I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that isn’t right.”

Years later Tia says she has used that moment to drive her in raising her two children.

Tia (who is a mother to Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2) says that “to this day, I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful.”

“What I’ve done with my children is [reading] books,” she explained to People. “You can read incredible books to your children about Rosa Parks, about Martin Luther King Jr. — pivotal people that had a huge impact within the movement.”

“The other thing is through television, especially during this time,” she went onto explain. “I was just having my children watch a whole bunch of [things] that starred a lot of African American actors, and one of them is [TheWiz. You had Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. It was just such a great story. And my son … he loved it, [and] it’s important.”

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