Choir teacher under fire after using racial slur during Black History Month discussion

A West Saint Paul Middle School teacher is under fire for using a racial slur in her classroom.

It all happened on Friday while the teacher was giving a lesson during her choir class. She was apparently talking about Black History Month and then used the “n-word.”

“She was quoting somebody from Brown v Board of Education, and I said the simple solution would have been to paraphrase,” said Jennifer Cannon, a parent of a child in the class.

Cannon said her 8th grade son was in choir class at Heritage Middle School when the teacher used the slur when trying to discuss the Brown v Board of Education decision.

“My son said one of the kids did stand up to her and said, ‘Hey, you don’t have to say that word,’ and she said, ‘Oh, I’m quoting someone,’ and he still said, ‘Yeah, but you didn’t have to say that word.’”

Cannon says once she found out about the incident, she reached out to the school but received a short response that only “affected” families were notified.

“And then we’re told, ‘Oh we can’t talk about it with you, you’re not affected.’ Well, I think hearing a racial slur from your teacher in school affects everybody,” Cannon said.

“Why does it matter how did she use it, but the fact that it affected people is the problem,” said Sophia Perkins, another parent.

She says she is deeply offended by how administrators handled the issue. Her eighth grader has been called the slur by a fellow student and she says this teacher has a history of using racially offensive language.

“When I heard that she was still there, I was shocked because this has been a pattern for her,” Perkins said.

The school district tells FOX 9 they are investigating the allegations and are taking appropriate action based on the outcome. They claim they cannot disclose any other details because of data privacy laws.

The teacher has been with the district since 1991.

Several parents say they’ll be writing a letter to the superintendent requesting better racial sensitivity training for staff.