Madison teacher accused of yelling N-word at student resigns
MADISON, Wis. — A Madison teacher accused of using a racial slur against one of her students has resigned, according to the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Velma Hamilton Middle School Principal Jessica Taylor said in a letter to parents Friday that the teacher involved in the incident would not be returning to the district.
UPDATE: Madison teacher accused of saying a racial slur to student has resigned. Ruby Clay, parent of the student, says “I am pleased with MMSD. They kept the child at the forefront and stuck to their mission. They say they won’t tolerate racism and they stood by that.” #News3
— Keely Arthur (@news3keely) November 16, 2018
“The use of language in this incident has had a deep impact on our students, staff, families, and greater Madison community,” Taylor wrote. “We have heard clearly, and want to take responsibility for the fact, that institutional trust has been broken between our school and community as a result of this incident.”
The 12-year-old student involved in the incident told News 3 that the teacher yelled the N-word at her during her seventh-grade social studies class. The girl’s mother, Ruby Clay, said the students were messing around on Google Translator when the teacher overheard them and began to shout.
“She said ‘ … How would you like it if I called you the N-word?,’ I heard it was used multiple times,” Clay said.
On Friday, Clay told News 3 she was pleased with the outcome.
“They kept the child at the forefront and stuck to their mission,”Clay said. “(School leaders) say they won’t tolerate racism and they stood by that.”
“One of my personal reflections is that, by not communicating with you sooner about this event, I inadvertently communicated a desire to sweep difficult issues under the rug or a lack of commitment to our core values. I want to assure you that is not the case” –@SuptJenCheatham https://t.co/mmpwHdlJTY
— Tabatha (@TabathaWethal) November 16, 2018
MMSD Superintendent Jen Cheatham said in a letter Friday to district staff that two other incidents involving inappropriate racial language have been reported since the incident with Clay’s daughter.
“One of my personal reflections is that, by not communicating with you sooner about this event, I inadvertently communicated a desire to sweep difficult issues under the rug or a lack of commitment to our core values,” Cheatham wrote. “I want to assure you that is not the case.”
Cheatham called the incident “unacceptable, no matter what the context or the circumstance.”
Taylor told parents Hamilton Middle School plans to reiterate a message that “the use of racial slurs is not tolerated in our school community” during homeroom Monday and will offer time for students to process their thoughts and feelings in groups or individually.
District spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson said the district has closed its investigation into the incident, which occurred Oct. 31.
“We have taken appropriate action and used all available options to come to a resolution,” Strauch-Nelson said.
For parents who want to discuss the incident with their children, the school referred to a Teaching Tolerance website as a resource.
Madison Teachers Inc. said Friday it had been advised of the incidents and union leaders plan to meet this weekend “to identify additional steps we can take to collectively confront these challenges.”
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