A white Minnesota teacher was placed on leave after a viral video showed her using obscene language and racial slurs in a classroom of middle school students.
In the May 8 video obtained by NBC News, Wendy Brilowski can be heard saying “f—g n—r” in front of her students at Highland Park Middle School. Another staff member then chimes in to say, “she's repeating what you're saying."
However, the 20-second video, which was verified as authentic by the school district, does not show any students using the phrase before Brilowsk.
Brandy Coleman, the mother of one of the students, told KARE the video was only the tip of the iceberg.
Coleman explained her daughter experienced racial tension with Brilowski for many months.
Her daughter said Brilowski previously referred to her and other Black students as "negroes."
“It breaks my heart that I didn’t know the magnitude of the situation so that I could intervene before that video,” the mother told the local news station.
In a lengthy statement, Saint Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard promised to take aggressive action.
“No matter the situation, the racist and foul language used by a staff member in the video has no place in Saint Paul Public Schools,” a statement from Superintendent Joe Gothard read.
“We will not be silent in the face of racist language in our schools — and we cannot perpetuate it. We will not make excuses for actions that hurt the students that we as educators have dedicated our lives to serve,” the statement added. “Following this incident, we have a lot of work to do to repair harm and rebuild trust with our students and our community. We take that responsibility seriously. We offer a sincere apology for the actions that took place in our building on Wednesday.”
Gothard also apologized in a video to parents, adding foul and racist language has no place in the district.
(Photo: Geo Piatt/Getty Images)
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