Pressure mounts on officials to fire Louisiana teacher accused of using N-word in Facebook post

Francis Akhalbey August 12, 2021
Julie Colley, a teacher at the Ossun Elementary School in Lafayette, has come under fire for using the N-word in a Facebook post -- Photo via Facebook

Outraged parents in Lafayette Parish as well as the local chapter of the NAACP are calling for the dismissal of a White teacher who allegedly used the N-word while responding to a social media post.

According to Newsweek, Julie Colley, who is a teacher at the Ossun Elementary School in Lafayette, used the racial slur in the local Facebook group Whatz Goin On in Acadiana. The White teacher reportedly passed the racially derogatory comment while responding to a post about a back-to-school giveaway that was being organized in an urban area of Lafayette.

In the post in question, Colley writes, “Im not going at 6:30. Cameron St? That’s [n-word]ville after dark lol.” And though Colley’s post was deleted, screenshots of it were captured and circulated on social media.

Some parents who spoke to KADN-TV condemned Colley’s comments and called for her dismissal from the predominantly Black elementary school. “I’m seriously concerned, she’s poisoning the minds of the most vulnerable,” Nureaka Ross, a parent, said.

Ross added Colley’s comments were a manifestation of “white privilege.” “For her to feel so comfortable making a statement of that magnitude such as n*****ville on a public forum, it speaks volumes.”

“I’m furious, I’m furious and I’m exhausted with it,” another parent, Robin Bugge, said. “I think there is an audacity of white women to say whatever they want in these spaces,” Bugge added. “And it’s not alright and especially not around children.”

The local chapter of the NAACP also released a lengthy statement calling on the relevant authorities to fire the White teacher. “We are appalled and hurt, but sadly not surprised to learn someone entrusted to guide and nurture our children, so easily shared such hatred for Black and Brown people, in a public forum,” the statement said.

“The racist anti-Black mentality has been alive in our community for decades, and we will stand up against it every time until it is eradicated. We will not tolerate this bigotry that continues to traumatize our youth and further the narrative that our Black children are second-class citizens.”

The NAACP also called on the Lafayette Parish School Board and Superintendent Irma Trosclair to “institute racial and cultural diversity trainings for all staff immediately.”

“We demand something finally be done to ensure schools are more racially diverse in students, staff and leadership.”

The statement also explained firing Colley was necessary because “History has proven the school-to-prison pipeline is perpetuated by this racist ideology Ms. Colley so comfortably displayed to all of the world – that Blacks will always be the ‘N-word,’ and only worthy of enslavement, prisons, and torn-down businesses on the North Side of town, and where it’s too dark for any human dignity after 6:30 p.m.”

Meanwhile, the Lafayette Parish School System released a statement saying it is investigating the incident, though no further details were revealed as it said it is a “personal issue.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 12, 2021


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