A high school teacher at Hoover, Ala. was placed on administrative leave Monday after using a racial slur in a health and nutrition class at Hoover High School the previous week, AL.com reported.
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 accurate.
The Hoover Sun reported that Snapchat videos captured an incredulous student saying they were shocked the teacher had said the word, and Butcher replying that the student was overreacting.
"Music was being played, and the teacher is saying that she responded to that music using the n-word," Murphy told ABC 33/40. School officials told AL.com Butcher had apologized to the class Monday.
The actual song being played at the time has been disputed, according to the station.
Some parents, like Romel Williams, whose child also informed her of the incident, told the Hoover Sun the instructor should be fired.
“I think they need to set an example with her and let students know they are safe and they don’t have to worry about derogatory comments or being belittled by their teacher with degrading words, and set a precedent for teachers in the school — that this is not acceptable behavior,” she told the paper.
Murphy said the investigation would follow both 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.”
In 2017, the Muscogee County School Board instituted a “zero tolerance” policy for use of racial slurs in class after it said a teacher “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 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.