A Hoover, Ala., high school teacher who used the n-word while telling a student to turn down music has resigned, according to local media.
The teacher, Teddi Butcher, was placed on administrative leave Monday after admitting to using the racial slur in the classroom.
Shenita Morrow said her daughter, who is black and a senior at Hoover High School, was playing a song by Tupac Shakur on Friday when teacher Teddi Butcher, who is white, allegedly told her to ‘Turn the n----- music off.” Students were usually allowed to play music while working on projects in class, Morrow told the site.
At a school board meeting Monday, Hoover City Schools superintendent Kathy Murphy confirmed to WVTM that a teacher had been placed on administrative leave for using a racial slur, and that it was her understanding the situation Morrow’s daughter and other students described was essentially accurate.
Later, Murphy told WIAT the teacher had asked the student to turn off a song that included the n-word, and did not use the word to describe the music itself.
“She responded by saying turn off the music that has the N word, and she used to the term that was in the song. She was making reference to the song to the music and certainly not the students, and that she regrets and apologizes and apologized to her class for that," Murphy told WIAT.
After some parents called for Butcher to be fired, Superintendent Murphy said an investigation would follow due diligence and due process to ensure the correct response was taken.
“We certainly expect all of our teachers, faculty and staff to treat children with all due respect, to treat them with dignity,” she told the Hoover Sun. “It is most inappropriate and unprofessional to use racial slang or a slur or in any way embarrass or hurt children, and that’s not something that I will stand for. I don’t find it acceptable, and that’s not who our school district is.”
On Thursday, the school board unanimously voted to accept the superintendent’s decision to accept the Butcher’s resignation, reported AL.com.
"I realize how difficult this has been," Murphy said, according to AL.com. "Every word matters."
The superintendent said the incident had been “a very difficult and trying situation, not just for Hoover High School, but for our entire school district and for our city,” according to the Hoover Sun. “The choices of our words make a significant difference. I absolutely under no circumstances will support any inappropriate racial slurs. It’s not something that we’re willing to tolerate. It’s hurtful to children. It’s an embarrassment to us, and it’s something I will not stand for.”
The incident is reminiscent of local controversy that erupted in 2017, when the Muscogee County School Board instituted a “zero tolerance” policy for use of racial slurs in class after a teacher allegedly “used a racial slur in an attempt to explain to a group of elementary school students that this same word should not be tolerated.”
The zero-tolerance policy means an instructor would be reviewed for termination if it was determined a slur was said.
The incident also comes days after a University of Alabama freshman was expelled from the school and her sorority after sharing Instagram posts that included her repeatedly saying the n-word.