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North Carolina teacher accused of telling Black students they could be 'field slaves' resigns

NBC News logo NBC News 10/9/2021 Minyvonne Burke
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A North Carolina teacher resigned following outrage over alleged comments she made to Black students that they would be her "field slaves" if it wasn't for the Constitution.

A parent told NBC affiliate WITN of Washington, North Carolina, about the Winterville Charter Academy teacher's remarks.

“She had them raise their hand during a constitutional lesson and reminded them that if it wasn’t for the Constitution, they would be her slaves. Her field slaves,” Kanisha Tillman told the news station.

Tillman has a child in the class.

The school, located northeast of Wilmington, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday. The school's principal sent a memo to parents of the eighth grade class and said action had been taken following a "racially insensitive lesson," according to WITN.

The memo also stated that two "racially insensitive words" were reportedly used by multiple children in the classroom "without appropriate redirection along with inappropriate response from the educator."

The principal said the school accepted the teacher's resignation.

"Culturally sensitive training for the teacher that resigned will be provided, along with proactive training measures for our current and future staff members,” the principal said in the memo.

The school, with 661 students, opened in 2015. Its website said 61 percent of the students are Black or African American.

National Heritage Academies, a charter school management company that oversees the academy, said the school immediately addressed the teacher's remarks as well as the remarks made by students. The company told WITN it is also investigating ongoing complaints from parents that "racially insensitive student remarks continue."

"While student and staff privacy rights prevent me from sharing specific details, what I can share is that we will not tolerate racism in our school community and will continue taking swift action that addresses these issues," the management company said in a statement to the news station.


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