Baltimore middle school teacher caught on video using "N" word

Posted at 5:31 PM, Nov 17, 2016

A middle school science teacher in Baltimore was caught on video this week making a racial slur toward students. 

A spokeswoman for Baltimore City Schools said the teacher is no longer employed with the school system after being recorded using the "N" word.

"Yesterday a middle school science teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School engaged in verbally abusive behavior and made racially charged comments directed at students," the statement from the school system read. "The teacher involved in the incident is no longer employed by City Schools."

"At Baltimore City Public Schools, we are committed to creating positive and equitable learning environments in school communities where all members are welcome, supported, and valued. No form of discriminatory behavior of any kind is or will be tolerated," the statement continued.

At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises said the incident actually happened Tuesday.

Santelises said she didn't speak to the teacher directly, and declined further about her because it's a personal matter.

She said the teacher taught eighth grade science. 

"This is not a case of just a struggling teacher or a teacher working to manage and regain right order within the classroom it is the boundary that was crossed in the attempt to maintain order," Santelises said.

Her full press conference is below:  

The video was originally posted by a parent of a student on FacebookWarning: It contains graphic language.

It has been viewed more than 1.2 million times as of Thursday afternoon, and shared more than 52,000 times. 

Kevin France, whose niece goes to school, said the comments the teacher made were "kinda disrespectful to the kids." 

"You have to teach the kids you can't get mad at the kids like that you gotta have patience with the kids that's what your job consists of," France said.

Yet Ebony Suggs, whose three children attend school, defended the teacher. 

"I just think she... her choice of words came out wrong because if you was in here with these kids you see how they act they totally don't respect people they don't respect adults and they don't respect her," said Suggs, who volunteers at the school. "I just think she got pushed to the limit because she's a very good teacher."

The Baltimore Teachers Union released a statement on the video.  

"The Baltimore Teachers Union condemns the language used by the teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School," the union said in a statement. "The Union stands together with Baltimore City Public Schools in supporting respectful and equitable learning environments for all our students."  

Several city officials weighed in on the incident Thursday on social media. 

"It turns my stomach to think about this woman in front of a classroom of impressionable young minds," Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young tweeted Thursday. 

Councilman Brandon Scott called the teacher's comments "despicable." 

"Baltimore City Schools took quick and appropriate action," Scott wrote on Twitter.