Damien Ford knows the look he gets from black parents dropping off their kids at his downtown Baltimore school. It’s one that says, “Take care of my baby.”
Ford says his skin color means his job comes with extra pressures and expectations. Black students often look to him to be a father figure; white teachers often look to him to be a disciplinarian.
“When you're that lone or one of very few black men in the school building, there’s a lot that comes with that,” said Ford, a veteran teacher who now works as an educational associate at Baltimore School for the Arts.
In a district where African-American children made up roughly 80 percent of the student body last year, only...