NC teacher allegedly tells Black students Constitution saved them from being ‘slaves’
A North Carolina school teacher was forced to resign from school after she allegedly told Black students that "they’d be her field slaves" if not for the Constitution. The unidentified teacher at Winterville Charter Academy reportedly singled out Black students during an English class on Constitution Day, September 17. A parent at the school, Kanisha Tillman alleged that the teacher "had them (Black students) raise their hand during the class and reminded them that if it wasn’t for the Constitution, they would be her field slaves."
The school’s principal, Annastasia Ryan informed parents about the "racially insensitive lesson" on September 24. Two “racially insensitive words” were also used by multiple children in the classroom, leading to an “inappropriate response” from the female educator, Ryan noted. "The teacher was supported in turning in her resignation and will not be returning on campus. Culturally sensitive training for the teacher that resigned will be provided, along with proactive training measures for our current and future staff members," principal Ryan further said.
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Ryan addressed the "racially insensitive lesson" on Tuesday, October 5 again saying the students who made "racially insensitive" comments were disciplined as well. "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, " Ryan noted.
Tillman told the Associated Press that she got to know about the "racially insensitive lesson" after a fellow parent texted her suggesting a teacher had been treating students differently due to race. "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 said. The Black student then called the White student a “cracker," to which the teacher threatened the Black student with disciplinary action, Tillman said.
According to Tillman, the students complained about the teacher’s remarks, but no action was taken. The White student who called a Black classmate a "monkey" returned after a two-day suspension, Tillman said.