FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Community activists and the superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District called for the firing of a high school English teacher on Thursday, after a video showed her allowing a student to repeatedly use it. racial slurs during a class presentation.
Dr Kent Scribner said he was “disgusted” by the video from a freshman, AP English preparatory class at Paschal High School.
The teacher, who Scribner said is experienced, was fired Monday after the district learned of the incident. The administration will fire her if she doesn’t resign first.
A large number of police officers were around the campus Thursday, where a group of community activists, including several pastors, called for the district to take additional action.
Michael Bell said he doesn’t care what the context of the mission is. He wanted to further train staff, counsel students, and document the racial makeup of the school’s certified faculty.
“It was an insult,” he said. “And it constitutes injury to students, faculty and staff.”
Kyev Tatum, a local pastor, went a step further, calling for the replacement of the entire board of directors at the school following the incident. It shows, he said, that the entire school district is getting well trained when it comes to racing.
Scribner, who said there was no reason for teachers not to intervene during the two-and-a-half-minute presentation, agreed that ongoing training is needed for district employees. However, it doesn’t point to the core of the district’s 5,300 educators.
He also drew parallels between the video and public outcry against the district’s equity policies at school board meetings.
“We hear these voices quite often, not only on the news or on social media, but also in school board meetings,” he said. “The school boardroom has become a public square where many political grievances are expressed.”
The video was shot on Friday afternoon. Scribner said the district became aware of the incident over the weekend and asked teachers to stay home Monday. The principal has been meeting with student groups this week, and a letter has been sent to parents about the incident.
Scribner couldn’t say specifically what the assignment was. The student appears to be performing a part of Romeo and Juliet, but is rewritten to depict Romeo’s character as a slave, using a racial slur to refer to him.
Amidst the laughter and gasps of the students, the teacher stopped the performance at one point after the students talked about cotton picking, to say it shouldn’t have been set in the “pre-Civil War,” but then allow him to go on saying that he should try. to stay “as true to the original text as possible.”