Outrage After First Graders Are Given Spelling List With 'N****r' On It, But Infuriated Parents Don't Want Teacher Fired

(Photo: WESH 2 News)

Outrage After First Graders Are Given Spelling List With 'N****r' On It, But Infuriated Parents Don't Want Teacher Fired

Here's what parents want the teacher who apologized "for the inconvenience" to do.

Published January 25, 2018

After mistakenly writing the word “n****r” instead of “bigger” on a take home spelling list, a Florida elementary school teacher released a statement to her class. Now, parents who were unsatisfied with the apology are demanding more action be taken. 

Terry Day, mother a first grader at Hamilton Elementary School in Sanford, said she saw the spelling list on Monday when it was distributed to her daughter Rosa, reported WESH 2.

The word on the sheet was supposed to be “Bigger,” but the word on the spelling list had an N at the front.

"My daughter said to me, she said, 'I know that word and I know what that word means, but is this supposed to be on my paper?'" Day told WESH 2.

After seeing the list, Day went to the school to discuss the issue with the teacher responsible.

"I said, 'Well, you didn't spell-check your word? You didn't proofread your word before you sent that out?' And (the teacher) said, 'It is a word.' And I didn't like the attitude behind that one,'" Day said.

When questioned by school administrators, the teacher said the "B" and the "N" are right next to each other and she accidentally typed the "N" instead of the "B."

School spokesperson Michael Lawrence released a statement to WESH 2 Investigates that reads:

"The district is aware of the unintentional and unfortunate mistake regarding the typo on the spelling words worksheet. The teacher involved has taught at Hamilton Elementary for many years and is extremely remorseful about the situation. The school has already fixed and updated the spelling words list and redistributed to the students in that particular class. In addition, a memo has gone home with students sincerely apologizing for the error."

However, parents received a much less empathetic letter from the actual teacher.

“Dear Parents: Please be advised there was a misspelled word on the blue spelling list I sent home yesterday. Please throw the blue list away and refer to this list for the next six weeks. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact me if you have any concerns,” the teacher wrote.

Needless to say, Day was not satisfied with the apology (or lack therof), especially considering it made no mention of the racial slur and its impact.

"'Inconvenience' means sorry for the bother. So, I mean, it was not apologetic, it was not 'sorry.’ Even when I met with her in person, she wasn't sorry, wasn't apologetic, like, 'Oh my God, I'm so sorry. I would have removed this.' No! It wasn't like that," Day told WESH 2.

Although Day does believe this was a mistake and the teacher should not be removed or suspended, she does was a more adequate apology be sent to the first graders and their parents.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: WESH 2 News)


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