The Holdenville Public Schools has placed a White teacher on administrative leave pending an investigation after she was caught on camera calling a Black student the N-word during an altercation in class.
The April 9 incident occurred in the full glare of other students who were also in the class. In the video of the incident obtained by KWTV, the teacher is seen having an argument with the Black student. At a certain point, the confrontation becomes physical as the Black student tries to leave the class. The teacher is seen trying to prevent him from leaving and briefly pulls his backpack. When the Black student tells her, “Watch where you touch me”, she is heard saying, “You better get yourself over there ni**er, do it.”
Some Holdenville parents who got to know about the incident chastised the teacher for using the racial slur and called for disciplinary action to be taken against her. “I want her out of the classroom. If she thinks language like that is acceptable or appropriate in a classroom full of students, I don’t think she should be an educator,” Shawna Jim told the news outlet.
Jim, whose niece was in the classroom when the teacher uttered the racial slur, said the incident has left her disturbed and upset.
“We don’t listen to it. We don’t say it. She knows that is a bad word. She was really upset about it. She was like, ‘How could she say something like that, just throw it out like it was nothing?’” Jim said, adding: “Every student should go to school and feel comfortable and not think that something like that is going to happen to them.”
Holdenville Public Schools Superintendent Randy Davenport released a statement saying they are investigating the incident and revealed the teacher has been placed on administrative leave.
“Holdenville Public Schools’ main priority is the safety and well-being of our students. The district is fully aware of the incident that occurred at our high school on Friday, April 9, 2021,” the statement said. “At this time, the staff member in question has been placed on administrative leave and will be through the duration of a full investigation is completed.”