Slow response to N-word at school board meeting generates backlash

·4 min read

One board member appeared quite shaken over a parent’s use of a racial slur.

A Grosse Pointe, Michigan mother went viral this week after using a racial slur during a school board meeting about diversity.

The unidentified white woman went on a rant during Monday’s meeting about her son getting in trouble at Grosse Pointe South High School for saying the N-word on Snapchat, Click On Detroit reports.

Parent used the N-word in a Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board meeting (Crdedit: YouTube screenshot)
Parent used the N-word in a Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board meeting (Crdedit: YouTube screenshot)

“Well, you know what? I have two young white boys. One of which got in trouble for saying the N-word on Snapchat,” said the parent.

She defended her son, saying “his dark chocolate auntie got him into Straight Outta Compton.”

“My address was put out there,” the mother continued. “We were threatened, and why? Because he said [the N-word]. I’m sorry, this happens to be in every song. The FCC, the Jon Connors, the who’s who are in charge of this s—, are basically allowing this.”

A board member cut her off and politely warned the woman to “watch your language.”

The woman went on to describe herself as “an inner-city person” who is down with the culture, as she “intentionally put” her son “in very primarily all-Black dance class, sales school, you name it, I’m into all of those things.”

One board member appeared quite shaken over the woman’s racial slur.

“I’ve never heard the N-word used in front of our colleagues here, and this is very upsetting,” said Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board member Margaret Weertz. “And I don’t — I have the floor. We need to talk about politics. We don’t disparage people — we don’t use slurs of any kind.”

“And the argument that it can be heard in other places is the most offensive argument and has led to countless atrocities in our history,” said Grosse Pointe Public Schools Superintendent Jon Dean.

Several Grosse Pointe residents are outraged that the woman was allowed to continue speaking after uttering the N-word. Some parents reacted to the moment in a private Facebook Page for Grosse Pointe residents.

Famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump saw the viral video, writing on Twitter: “A parent used the n-word in a Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board meeting … and board members didn’t address her offensive comments until AFTER she finished speaking! What example are they setting for our children by allowing this disgusting language to continue?!”

Per the school’s policy against vulgar and profane language, the woman’s son was reportedly suspended for four to 10 days for using the N-word online.

“This idea that you see something racist right in front of your face and you don’t address it is a poor reflection on the school board and the school district because it means you don’t care,” said Greg Bowens of the Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods NAACP. He received an outpouring of calls from residents who were upset that board members didn’t immediately condemn the woman.

“I think she could’ve made her point without making those comments,” Bowens added.

In a statement after the meeting, Grosse Pointe School Board President Joseph Herd reacted to the backlash over allowing the woman’s rant to go on after she hurled the N-word.

“If you have watched any board meeting during my time as president, you have seen me emphasize how critical it is for us to model civil discourse and listen to all voices, even when we disagree,” Herd said. “By nature and professional training, I am a peacekeeper. But do not think my willingness to listen means I or the board agree with the use of such language. We condemn this language.”

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