The disturbing video of a white teacher shouting the "N word" at a predominantly black 8th-grade class has been making the rounds on TV and the internet.
The racially charged episode happened at the Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore. The teacher, whose name hasn’t been released, is seen grabbing the hood of a black student screaming “get out of my class.” She then walks him out of the room, and proceeds to shout at the other students.
“You’re idiots,” she yells. She then tells the students that if they don’t get an education, they’ll be “a punk-ass 'n-----' who's going to get shot."
You can clearly see the shock of disbelief in one student’s face. Another voice in the background says, “stop saying that.” But their surprise reaction does nothing to calm the teacher down.
Ironically, this is the woman’s second year teaching science at the school after working at an alternative certification program that included diversity training.
According to school officials, she has been fired. However, her verbally abusive behavior toward students has many people outraged.
"I was floored, I was utterly disgusted," Erica Gales Deminds, who has three children at the school, told CNN after seeing the video.
Her son was the teen thrown out of the classroom before the racially charged comments. Deminds said the students were being rowdy and disruptive.
"The teacher was a really good teacher, she was one of my son's favorite teachers. I had met her a few times, and she was always very pleasant," she said. "She just must have reached breaking point."
Her son later showed her the video, and Deminds share it on Facebook, where it has since gone viral with many chiming in. Some people say that this teacher’s language is inexcusable. But on the flip side, others actually sympathize with her.
“She was one of my children's teacher. She was a good teacher. As my child stated to me, those two students were always being disruptive and disrespectful. I am not condoning the words that she said. It comes a time and point when parents need to discipline their children. It's not but so much that an educator can take. If you don't want educators or anyone saying anything derogatory to your children, raise them with respect,” one parent wrote.
“There is absolutely no excuse for an educator to speak to students this way. Children may have very well be disrespectful—but she should have NEVER used racial slurs to control the situation. Period,” another commented.
As a former substitute teacher, I’ve experienced out-of-control students. Some have even threatened to get their “cousins to beat me up.” So I can certainly understand the teacher’s frustration. However, I’ve never responded to any student in that way.
I also remember being in school with disruptive kids as a child. I felt sorry for the teacher. It was a tough situation to be in as a student, so I could only imagine what it was like being a teacher in front an entire classroom. It’s clear that this particular teacher in Baltimore had a good track record, prior to this incident. While her actions were unacceptable, I’d like to hear her side of the story. It's easy to point a finger and claim what you would have done in that situation. But the reality is that you never know until you're in that environment.
I personally think that we can all use this as a teaching lesson. I believe that how we raise our children is important. If kids are taught to respect adults, it reduces the chances of this happening. Also, teachers should be trained in how to respond when students get out of control. Unfortunately, you can’t just walk out of a classroom and leave students by themselves. But, maybe schools should install some kind of system where teachers are able to call for help.