MUSTANG, Okla. (KFOR) – A metro school teacher was recorded saying a racial slur multiple times when reading aloud an assigned book. A student in the class hit record on her phone while asking the teacher several times to stop.
The Mustang School District tells News 4 the book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ will no long be read out loud due to the video going viral.
“My grandma says ‘so it ain’t your fault,” the teacher read aloud from the book. “’I guess it ain’t your fault that Uncle Atticus is a n***** lover.’”
“Can you please stop saying the n-word,” the teen said. “I feel offended with you saying it.”
“Well, I don’t care,” the teacher said.
“Can you say a different word or something,” the teen said.
A sophomore English lesson at Mustang High School came to an abrupt halt.
“I heard that you were the only teacher that is saying the n-word for this book,” the teen said.
“I’ve always said it,” the teacher said.
“Every time you say the n-word, everybody is looking at me,” the teen said. “How do you think I feel about that?”
The book is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ a 1960s novel that uses a racial slur nearly 50 times.
It’s required reading in a number of classrooms, but the 16-year-old girl interrupted the reading while secretly hitting the record button on her phone.
“I’m not the only one that feels offended with you saying it, too,” the teen said.
“Well, then you probably need to talk to someone about it,” the teacher said.
“I already did,” the teen said.
The teen’s mother, Danielle Franklin, sat down with News 4 on Friday.
She says this is the third time in less than a week she’s called the principal to complain.
“They know where that word comes from, and it don’t come from a good place,” Danielle Franklin said.
The teacher in the video is heard defending her curriculum.
“But what gives you the right to say it, though,” the teen said.
“Because this is how it’s written, and if I say it any other way it’s lying,” the teacher said.
“I don’t think the teacher took her feelings or anyone else’s feelings into consideration,” Franklin said.
LaTonya Jacobs’ son is also in the classroom.
“I do understand it is a cultural shock,” Jacobs said. “However, we should be treated equal.”
Mustang Public Schools released the following statement on social media:
This week has afforded Mustang Public Schools with a teaching and learning opportunity. Sophomore English classes at Mustang High School have been studying the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. During a read-aloud, a racially derogatory term from the text made students uncomfortable, and the issue was not immediately resolved.
On Wednesday, when this issue was brought to the attention of the head principal, Dr. Kathy Knowles, she immediately took actions to address the situation, through speaking to all parties. This racially charged language will no longer be spoken in classrooms, and we are using this opportunity as a teachable moment for staff and students alike.
“This has allowed us to talk in a controlled environment with adults and students and to have these difficult conversations,” Superintendent Charles Bradley said. “It was never our intention to put students in this situation, and for that we are deeply sorry. We want to praise the students who brought this issue to our attention. Not only did they advocate for themselves, they did so in a way that should make all of us proud. We are also proud of how Dr. Knowles worked to handle this situation quickly by speaking to everyone involved to understand all of the facts surrounding this situation.”
We understand that we have unintentionally caused duress surrounding this situation, and we vow to continually work to repair those relationships as we strive to be better.