The white Ohio teacher who angrily told a Black student his classmates would form a mob and lynch him if he didn’t focus will not be suspended or fired by the school district.
The incident involved a student named Nathan and occurred during a December class at a Mason City school. Nathan was reportedly not listening and his teacher, Renee Thole, became frustrated and made the lynching comment in front of the entire class, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“I said to him, [redacted] get to work,” Thole wrote. “Your classmates are tired of you costing them points. When you come in tomorrow without your homework completed, you [sic] classmates are going to be angry and then become a mob who will want to lynch you.”
Thole wrote that Nathan immediately called her remark racist and she walked over and talked with him. She said she apologized to Nathan and told him she didn’t mean it “the way it came out."
Nathan did not tell his mother, Tanisha Agee-Bell, about the incident for a week in fear of getting in trouble for talking back to the teacher. Once Agee-Bell was made aware of the comment, she called the school to complain and request Thole apologize to the class, which she did.
Despite Agee-Bell’s request that action be taken against the teacher, the school district investigated the incident and only required Thole attend cultural training, according to a formal letter of reprimand placed in her personnel file on Thursday.
"This is a serious miss on her part," district spokeswoman Tracey Carson told USA Today.
"There's nothing that could be done that would ever take back those words," Carson added. "And so, the next piece is trying to really determine what is the right recourse that offers restitution for the family and also sets expectations for the staff member."
In a conversation with Thole, Agee-Bell agreed Nathan was talking too much, but was concerned to see the teacher use racist language to take out her frustration.
"I told her, 'Next time you're frustrated are you going to call him a n****r?'" Agee-Bell said she asked Thole.
Agee-Bell also said she was not satisfied with the district's discipline.
"That’s not a clear punishment," she told the Enquirer. "That’s not satisfactory at all. I still want her out of the classroom until she gets that training."
(Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer)