A North Carolina teacher has resigned from her job at Winterville Charter Academy after a “racially insensitive” incident occurred during a school lesson.
“She had them raise their hand during a constitutional lesson and reminded them that if it wasn’t for the Constitution, they would be her slaves. Her field slaves,” Kanisha Tillman said, recalling her child’s story, WITN reported.
Shortly after, the school’s principal, Anastasia Ryan, released a memo on the situation. The note assured parents that the school had taken action against the teacher.
“On Monday evening, it was brought to the attention of school administration that a racially insensitive lesson regarding the importance of the Constitution of the United States was carried out during an English lesson on Constitution Day,” the memo read.
Ryan went on to admit that a couple of children in the classroom used “racially insensitive words” that went “without appropriate redirection along with an inappropriate response from the educator.”
Tillman told the Associated Press that her son shared that “a white student had called a Black student a monkey.”
“When the Black student educated him on that being racist and him not liking it and not to call him that and asked the teacher for support, the teacher turned around and said to him, ‘Oh, it’s OK. We’re all a little bit racist,'” Tillman recounted.
The Black student then returned an insult, calling the white student a “cracker” and was threatened with disciplinary action by the teacher.
The school went on to add that after it concluded its investigation, the teacher had been asked to resign and to take cultural sensitivity training. In addition, “proactive training measures” would be provided for all other staff members.
Following the incident, parents started recounting stories of various racial scenarios from their children on a private Facebook page. Tillman said there was another situation in which a group of Black girls gathered in an attempt to teach why being called a monkey was considered racist when a teacher approached the girls, telling them “it’s OK, You’re all my little monkeys.”
On Oct.5, the school released another memo to parents, acknowledging the added angry chatter on social media. Ryan also mentioned that the school was investigating another racially charged incident.
“As soon as we were made aware of each incident, we immediately took action. The result was a teacher resignation and the children involved being disciplined in accordance with our Parent and student handbook,” Ryan wrote in part. “These situations concern us, too. Our school culture is built on one of acceptance, love, and respect to serve all children and their families. The inner workings of our school are surrounded by intentional effort to eliminate implicit and explicit bias.”