“Not My Circus Not My Monkeys”

A couple of days ago I posted an article about an email sent to staff at Delaware Design-Lab High School. In the email, the Interim Director referred to the school as a circus and the students as monkeys. I posted an article and I felt it had a tint of racism to it. At the time, I was 100% unaware that her phrase was a remake of a famous phrase from an old Polish proverb. This proverb generated the phrase “Not My Circus Not My Monkeys”. Which means “not my problem”. However, the email flipped it around by saying it was their circus and the students were their monkeys.

In another email I posted in the same article, a former staff member alleged the school was not hiring anyone but Caucasians to replace staff that left and the school was targeting certain zip codes to recruit students.

I still think referring to your school as a circus and your students as monkeys is a bit odd, but because of this famous phrase (which I never heard of until pretty much everyone on Facebook told me immediately after) I am not alleging the phrasing was racist any longer.

Now the staff hiring and targeted zip codes for recruitment… that I have some issues with. Just wanted to get this out there to be fair.

6 thoughts on ““Not My Circus Not My Monkeys”

  1. Pingback: Which Delaware Charter School Leader Called Their Students “Monkeys”? | Exceptional Delaware

  2. Hi Kevin! I do love your blog. I’ve often wondered where you got your photos. The mug featured in the photo on this post is a mug created by my friend Lindsey Ostafy- a marvelous potter AND a public school art educator. She is concerned that her art work is being used without her permission in a negative context. Would you change the photo here please? Thank you!

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  3. As a student of Delaware Design-Lab High School i think its all a coincidence. i don’t really think that they can control who enrolls and who doesn’t. if African Americans don’t want to enroll than i don’t think they can do anything about that. while i agree that we don’t have a very racially diverse staff, i don’t really believe that we are “racist”. we are still a small fairly new school so i think are staff will grow and diversify later on

    as i said i am just a student so these are just my opinions

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