A Baltimore school teacher has been fired after a viral video showed her making racially charged comments at her students. According to the footage, which was recorded by a student and later posted on social media, the unnamed woman from Harlem Park Elementary School was agitated and on the verge of kicking her students out of the room when she snapped off.
“You’re idiots.You have a chance to get an education. Do you wanna be a broke ass [n—r] who’s going to get shot?” the 8th grade teacher yelled. “Learn something. Be a man.”
Baltimore City schools CEO Sonja Santelises terminated the teacher on Thursday after viewing the video of the incident that occurred a few days ago, WBAL TV reported.
“The behavior in that video was not about a teacher trying to regain control of the class. The focus of our reaction was really about the way that teacher went about it, and frankly, the way young people were treated and addressed,” she said.
Santelises also stressed that given this nation’s current political climate, it’s even more important than ever to lead by example and show their students that this type of hateful rhetoric is unacceptable.
“In the country right now, here in city schools, we are clear: We do not tolerate that type of language or interaction using hate speech with anyone, let along our young people,” Santelises said. “In the current climate, we in city schools are very, very clear about where we stand with any kind of hate speech, any kind of obvious discriminatory language.”
The Baltimore Teachers Union also stands by the district’s decision, saying in a statement that they “[condemn] the language used by the teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School. The union stands together with Baltimore City Public Schools in supporting respectful and equitable learning environments for all our students.”
Erica Deminds, the woman who posted her son’s video on her Facebook page, told WBAL that prior to this troubling incident, she had a lot of respect for the teacher.
“She’s a good teacher. I know her. I’ve talked to her before. It took me by surprise to see her in action like that, because I’ve never witnessed it before,” Deminds said. “It was heartbreaking to see her talk to the kids that way, to hear her say the things she said to the kids. And most of the kids in the class look up to her, they admire her, my son is one of them.”
“It bothers kids to think that an adult think of them in a certain way, so for a teacher to think that you are just a punk, whatever, whatever, ‘You just want to get shot,’ this is what you tell the kids, it’s not OK,” Deminds added.
We understand that teaching is incredibly stressful, but never in a million years is this the way to deal with a disorderly classroom. Try again.