The parents of a child who was called the N-word by a teacher in Iowa have called on the school board to fire him immediately.
The 17-year-old’s mother Melinda Carter addressed the Dubuque Community Schools board meeting Monday saying the incident, which was caught on video, has been traumatizing for her and her family.
“On May 31, our son was the victim of racial discrimination by an employee of the Dubuque Community School District,” she said through tears. “Since this incident at Hempstead High School, we have gone through a range of emotions from disbelief, anger, disappointment, and sadness. Having to sit down with our 17-year-old son and debrief the situation has been traumatizing.”
The teacher went viral online when he was caught yelling the N-word to a Black student outside a classroom.
“What you looking at, n-----?” the teacher shouted to the student across from him.
Another Black student happened to pass by as the teacher made his remarks, which caused a slight disruption. The teacher apologized to the student, but went back to addressing the other student in front of him as the interaction was recorded.
After the incident, Dubuque Hempstead High School Assistant Principal Julia Jorgenson sent a letter to families saying the teacher had been suspended while the school district held an investigation.
At Monday’s meeting, Melinda Carter expressed outrage that she and her husband, Thackery Carter, were not alerted about the situation until a few hours after it happened.
“We hope the district re-evaluates the protocol of notifying parents in these situations,” she said. “We also hope the district makes the right decision and does not allow [the teacher] to continue to teach in the Dubuque Community School District. We hope the district takes this further and removes his teaching license from the state of Iowa to help ensure that no other children have to go through this.”
Thackery Carter said his family had been unable to truly celebrate milestones, like his son getting his driver’s permit, because they had been so emotionally focused on the ordeal with the teacher.
He said the delayed notification was “not acceptable” and echoed his wife in saying that the teacher’s license should be revoked.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Dubuque Community Schools would not go into detail about the teacher’s employment status. Instead, the communications department said there was specific legal protocols that the district must adhere to whenever there’s a recommendation for a teacher’s contract to be terminated.
“The district has a legal obligation to ensure that personnel matters remain confidential until such time as the Board takes public action,” the statement read, without identifying the teacher.
In a request for comment Wednesday, the teacher directed The Daily Beast to speak with his attorney, but calls to the attorney were not immediately answered.