A white, veteran, Virginia high school teacher was disciplined for using a racial slur in class — as she was delivering a lesson on racism and derogatory racial names.
Lynne Pierce, who teaches Advanced Placement History in Newport News, used the Washington Redskins as an example of a derogatory term.
When a student asked how that could be derogatory, she replied by her use of the N-word, saying that it would be similar to naming a local football team the “Newport News N******,” ABC local affiliate 13 News Now reported.
When a student complained afterwards, Pierce was placed on administrative leave.
Former students are coming to the teacher’s defense.
“It’s not what you think it is, she’s not a bad person,” Juslena Williams, a 2011 graduate of Heritage High School told 13 News Now.
Williams started a petition to bring Pierce back, and she said it already has hundreds of signatures.
“I’m not offended by anything Mrs. Pierce teaches or said, because I feel like Heritage High school and just any of the high schools around here, she is probably the best teacher around here that I’ve known,” she told the station.
“Honestly, in every day life as an African American, there are people that use this word to greet one another, but as soon as someone uses it in terms of expressing themselves, people get offended,” Williams added.
The school system released this statement of the incident:
“Newport News Public Schools is dedicated to ensuring that our students are educated in a professional, safe and nurturing environment,” the statement said. “When a school administrator receives a complaint or concern from a student or family member about possible inappropriate employee behavior, an investigation is launched as all such concerns are taken very seriously.”
Pierce, for her part, said she only used the term to illustrate how inappropriate it was.
Being forced to teach a lesson on inappropriate terms without using inappropriate terms is akin to teaching anatomy without mentioning the names of organs.
Watch the report, via 13 News Now.
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