Mea Thompson and Zaria Daniel, two students at Jay Stream Middle School, couldn’t believe their ears when their substitute teacher called them the N-word.
According to the students, Mea & Zaria along with two others were working as a group when the teacher referred to them as “African-American.”
The eighth graders disagreed, informing the teacher that they weren’t from Africa.
“All four of us that were sitting there got offended because none of us are from Africa,” Mea told NBC Chicago. “I’m Jamaican. So we said, ‘Can you please not call us that?’”
“She continued to call us that and said, ‘It’s the politically correct term.’ Then she said, ‘Well, back then you guys would be considered the N-word.”
The students said they were disgusted hearing the racial slur used by a teacher in the classroom.
“We were so shocked and we were like, ‘What? Excuse me?'” said Thompson. “She was like, ‘Well, back then that’s what African Americans were called.'”
It didn’t stop there. The students say the teacher used the N-word several more times during the 80-minute class, also referring to them as slaves. One student threw down her books and started crying.
“I just want people to know how much it affected us and I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” said student Zaria Daniel.
The school district has confirmed the teacher had been interviewed and corroborated the girls’ version of what happened. She will not be asked back to the school.
But Thompson’s mother, Shayna Thompson, says the punishment isn’t enough.
“After the shock and hurt, I’m angry,” she said. “It’s a new world, and the people of the past that still hang onto hatred and bigotry don’t belong in this world anymore.”
She said she is looking into whether the teacher can be charged with disorderly conduct or if the incident could be considered a hate crime.
We think the teacher should get her right to substitute revoked completely. Her behavior is completely 100% unacceptable and has no place inside a classroom — anywhere.
[via NBC Chicago]