Parents weigh in on teacher’s racial comment

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Folks came out in full force to tell Waterbury education officials that they were outraged over a remark allegedly made by a teacher.

That teacher is on leave as the school board investigates a claim the first year teacher made a racist remark towards a student.

“As a parent of two students in the Waterbury School district, I was shocked and outraged,” said parent Karin Nieves.

“The issue needs to be addressed, it doesn’t need to be swept under the table by the teacher’s union,” said parent James Monroe.

Everyone was weighing in at the school board meeting on Thursday night after a sixth grade teacher was accused of calling a student “black boy” after forgetting his name.

“I couldn’t believe it, it was shocking to hear a professional like that, say something like that in a room full of students,” said Jimmie Griffin, the former President of the NAACP. “I couldn’t believe it.”

“If the teacher knew the person’s name, then why refer to the child as a black boy,” asked  Karen Harvey.

Harvey is the Vice President of the Board of Education. She says while the allegations are shocking, at this point they are only allegations.

“I just want to hear the end results of the investigation and the results,” she said, “and then I will make my judgment.”

Right now the school has put the teacher on administrative leave and launched an investigation. Administrators say “if they allegations are true action will be taken.”

“There is an issues here,” Harvey said. “It’s not widespread, but it is here and we need to have sensitivity training as soon as possible.”

“I just hope we can move forward,” Monroe said. “A lot of people want her fired, and that is kind of tough and I will go along with whatever the board recommends.”

It’s not clear how long the investigation will take. 

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