Parents in Columbus, Georgia, were disheartened to learn a Muscogee County teacher allegedly used the n-word when speaking with their daughter about an issue she had with other students.
Nathan Frazier and his wife Equisha told WTVM their 9-year-old daughter, Harmonie, told them of the incident when they noticed she seemed upset after school.
“She said another student said to her, she’s glad that she's not Black. She's glad she's white and not Black like them," Nathan told WTVM.
Harmonie, who is in fourth grade at Reese Road Elementary, told her parents that the student made the comment while they were in physical education. When the students returned back to their homeroom, one of the students involved told the teacher about the comment.
“The thing that really really shocked me was when the teacher leans into the girls and she kind of caressed my daughter’s face and says, ‘Oh you’re a beautiful girl, but at least she didn’t call you a dumb, Black and the ‘n’ word… When my daughter told me that I was completely shocked," Nathan told WTVM.
Once the Fraziers learned about the incident, they had a meeting with the school principal. During the meeting, explained the Fraziers, the principal said the teacher admitted to using the racial slur. However, the Fraziers are more concerned with the emotional effect the teacher’s actions will leave on their daughter.
“She hurt my daughter and the other young lady while enabling the other little girl to continue doing it. To our knowledge they haven't really done much of anything about it," Nathan told WTVM.
On Thursday, September 14, Muscogee County School District Superintendent Dr. David Lewis sent this statement regarding the situation saying:
"We are aware of the allegation, but as you know we cannot comment on personnel matters. As with any allegation regarding school personnel, our principal, region and Human Resource Department conducted a thorough investigation and followed up as appropriate."
On Friday, September 15, Dr. David Lewis provided "a more complete statement" from Chief of Human Resources, Kathy Tessin:
“Muscogee County School District does not tolerate racial slurs or discriminatory behavior by anyone in our organization. In instances where such behavior is determined to have occurred, disciplinary action is taken. As an employer, and in accordance with Board Policy GAE, the District investigates any such allegations and takes appropriate disciplinary and corrective action but does not disclose the specifics regarding personnel matters. The principal of Reese Road Elementary, Katrina Collier-Long, East Region Chief Dr. Ron Wiggins, representatives from the school district’s Division of Human Resources and Kathy Tessin, Chief Human Resources Officer, have been part of the investigation process since the complaint first came to us on September 7th, and appropriate personnel action was taken regarding the situation.”
The Fraziers have since pulled their daughter out of Reese Road Elementary by choice and coordinated with the district to send her to a different school.