Baltimore teacher fired after allegedly using racial slur on students

A screen grab of a video in which a teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School berates students.
A screen grab of a video in which a teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School berates students.

BALTIMORE (CBS News) — A video showing a Baltimore teacher using a racial slur while berating students has led to the teacher being fired, school officials said Thursday.

The 1 minute, 22 second video, which was posted on social media, showed a white teacher berating the mostly black students in a classroom. The teacher called them “idiots” and “stupid.” The teacher also used the N-word, asking students if they want to get an education or end up broke.

The incident occurred Tuesday, according to Baltimore City Public Schools spokeswoman Edie House Foster, who also said the science teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School is no longer employed by the school system. She did not identify the teacher.

Parents whose children attend the school were disgusted.

“She very disrespectful and she should not be teaching anybody’s kids,” said Nicole Washington, CBS Baltimore reported.

“It’s wrong. How can you call kids [expletive] when you’re working in a black school?” Lanella Andrews said.

Baltimore City Public Schools released a statement, saying: “Yesterday a middle school science teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School engaged in verbally abusive behavior and made racially charged comments directed at students. The teacher involved in the incident is no longer employed by City Schools.”

“At Baltimore City Public Schools, we are committed to creating positive and equitable learning environments in school communities where all members are welcome, supported, and valued,” the statement said. “No form of discriminatory behavior of any kind is or will be tolerated.”

While the incident happened on Tuesday, it wasn’t reported to Baltimore City Public Schools until Wednesday.

“When I immediately viewed the video, I was appalled,” said Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.

She said that once the video was reviewed, the decision to terminate the teacher was easy.

“The behavior in that video was not about a teacher trying to regain control of the class,” Santelises said.

Some parents fear the behavior will have a crushing impact on their children.

“When you start calling us out of our names and things like that, that makes our children feel some kind of way,” said Delores Ushry.

City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young posted a series of tweets about the incident.

There’s zero tolerance for adults who violate our young people,” he wrote. “That video is proof that we have more work to do as a city and a country.”

 

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