A charter school teacher resigned after telling Black students that they would be her field slaves if it wasn’t for the U.S. Constitution, according to the parent of a student in the classroom.
The racist comment came in September during an English lesson on Constitution Day at Winterville Charter Academy in North Carolina, local station WITN reported.
Parents told the news outlet that the teacher singled out their children.
“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,” said Kanisha Tillman, whose child was in the 8th-grade classroom.
In a Sept. 24 memo to parents whose children were in the classroom, Principal Annastasia Ryan admitted to the teacher’s “racially insensitive lesson” and to bullying by other students in the classroom.
The memo stated that two “racially insensitive words” were reportedly used by several students “without appropriate redirection along with inappropriate response from the educator.”
Ryan said after an investigation “the teacher was supported in turning in her resignation and will not be returning on campus.”
Shortly after, news of the incident circulated on social media, prompting some people to post angry comments.
“Why would any Black family send their children to your school?” one post said. “You allow them to be bullied and have racist slurs and stereotypes to be hurled at them. Shame on you!”
According to WITN, the angry social media reactions prompted Ryan to send a second memo on Oct. 5. This time to all the families.
“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.
The memo continued, “These situations concern us, too. Our school culture is built on one of acceptance, love, and respect to serve all children and their families.”
Ryan also revealed that another investigation is underway of a student who made racially insensitive remarks.