The teacher, who has not been identified, read aloud the n-word while reading the book "Zane and The Hurricane" to a class, which upset students and parents. The book's author, Rodman Philbrick, said the book did not contain any racial slurs.
Mowat Principal Ed Sheffield issued an apology letter to parents and guardians, and said the teacher was a new faculty member. The district declined to answer whether the teacher was fired or quit.
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Members of the Bay County NAACP and Student Advocacy Center addressed the issue in a Thursday news conference, demanding district officials take immediate action to avoid similar incidents in the future.
"We want to see that the teacher is terminated, the teacher is reported and the district poise meetings to explain that discrimination of any type will not be tolerated," said NAACP volunteer Rawsi Williams. "These are things this school district can do immediately and that they effectively monitor for the outcome."
Bay District Schools released a statement in regard to the incident and confirmed that the teacher no longer works for the district.
Similiar incidents have happened in the past, says Student Advocacy Center
Gregory Dossie, director of the Student Advocacy Center in Bay County, said this was not the first incident the district schools have seen and that many similar complaints have been filed in the past without effective measures taken within the district.
"We file these complaints as a last resort, and about 25% of them are racial complaints. While the district handles these issues on individual levels, they never come back with a systemic resolution," Dossie said. "There needs to be cultural training within the schools, and these implemented policies should be enforced."
Despite the teacher's removal from the district, NAACP leaders said they might need to take the issue a step further. Williams advised local organizations to take the issue beyond the school district and file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education.
She added that school board officials should review policies in order for schools to avoid future occurrences of discriminatory language in the school system.
"We would like to see the school district not only review its policies, because if the policies are adequate as they say, then the question is 'Why are we having these issues?'" Williams said. "So they need to do the work to get to the bottom of why their policies are not translating in practicality to ensuring that they are not facilitating a discriminatory environment."
This article originally appeared on The News Herald: Lynn Haven teacher no longer employed after reading racial slur in class