A teacher in Milwaukie, Oregon was fired after she made an extremely racist statement to an 11-year-old biracial student.
The unnamed teacher was terminated by from Linwood Elementary School after the child’s mother demanded for her removal.
“It was just really devastating,” said Syreeta Spencer.
Spencer’s 11-year-old daughter, Jasmyn, was eating lunch with friends, who were mostly children of color when a school employee reprimanded them for misbehaving.
“The teacher was like, you’re lucky I’m not making you pick cotton and clean my house and stuff like that,” said Jasmyn, who is biracial. “It made me feel really sad and targeted.”
After learning of the teacher’s outburst, she immediately went to the school for a meeting with the principle.
“If she were to curse at the kids or yell at them, that’s forgivable and we can work past that,” said Spencer. “To say something about picking cotton and cleaning and painting houses, that’s deeper than that and it’s not something that just slips out.”
Following an investigation into the incident, the principal released a letter to all parents letting them know that the teacher had been fired.
Dear families of our Linwood Elementary School Community:
I wanted to update you on the situation that occurred last week in our school community. We have concluded our investigation about the inappropriate racialized comments by a staff member to students. The employee involved is no longer employed within the North Clackamas School District.
We know and understand that the impact of words spoken can be hurtful for our students and that was the case in this situation. I deeply regret this impact and will continue to work with our students and school community to make sure they are heard and feel supported.
Our school and the school district are committed to an inclusive environment that honors each student’s identity and provides safety, respect, and care in each of our spaces.
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