A middle school science teacher was fired after she was seen and heard on video berating her class saying, “You punk a– N—– who’ll get shot.”
The 80-second video, recorded by a student, begins with the Baltimore teacher already angry and upset. She yells “Get out of my classroom” and “leave.” She’s seen in the video ushering a student out the door, then screaming at the rest of the class “You’re idiots!”
“You’re punk a– N– who’ll get shot,” the teacher continued to yell.
The video of the teacher’s racist rant was sent to Daily News Columnist Shaun King, who then posted it on his Twitter page and the video quickly went viral, sparking nationwide outrage.
Students in the video were so offended by the teacher’s language that they were overcome with shock. The majority of her students are African-American.
PIX11 News reached out the the Baltimore school department and learned the teacher involved in the incident has been fired. The school department has released a statement on the incident:
On Tuesday, November 15, a middle school science teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School engaged in verbally abusive behavior and made racially charged comments directed at students. The teacher involved in the incident is no longer employed by City Schools.
At Baltimore City Public Schools, we are committed to creating positive and equitable learning environments in school communities where all members are welcome, supported, and valued. No form of discriminatory behavior of any kind is or will be tolerated.
People swiftly responded on social media.
“This woman needs to lose her job ASAP,” a person tweeted.
“This makes me want to cry,” someone also wrote on Twitter.
PIX11 News spoke with local parents and grandparents and they were just as alarmed.
“That’s bad. Why is she doing that that’s not proper. What’s wrong with her the kids must be really shocked and upset about that,” a New Yorker said to PIX11 News.
The viral video has led some parents to ask how to talk to their children about hateful speech.
“If your kid sees a video like this, I would encourage parents to watch with your child and have a discussion, is what this teacher did appropriate, absolutely not. We have to talk to our children about it,” Dr. Jodi Gold, a New York City based child psychiatrist said.
Dr. Gold said the focus should not be on this teacher but about broader issues of race, gender and social/financial inequality in this country.
“The goal here is not so much to focus on her but use the opportunity to discuss inequalities. I would encourage parents to tell their kids if anyone in a leadership capacity; teacher, doctor, someone makes a racist or sexist remark that they need to report it,” Dr. Gold said.
Dr. Gold said in this current climate, where hurtful and hateful things are being said out in the open, parents need to impress upon their children that words matter.