One week after a school staffer used a broom to discipline a 13-year-old student, calling him a “black nerd,” a district superintendent shared her concern about the incident, saying it’s “frustrating” that the aide has not been fired.
“This situation is frustrating. I’m disappointed in the fact that we don’t have immediate action taken,” Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang told reporters in a Wednesday morning press conference. “I don’t want that lady to lose her job. I’m not comfortable with that happening. I think we need to make sure that there’s accountability, especially around our school staff.”
It’s frustrating to have a school employee come forward & claim to have disciplined a student in a way that had racial implications and not be fired. In this day and age, it’s offensive to say or do any type of dehumanizing comment about a student who is not targeted for any other reason, but may be perceived as being black. We need to end this. https://t.co/R5nhAqhgpv — Boston Public Schools (@BOSTON_PS) December 12, 2018
The school staffer, whose name has not been released, has been placed on administrative leave, though she has not been fired, according to The Boston Globe. On Tuesday, the student’s mother, Rachel Brouwer, released the video of the incident to the news organization, explaining that her son “got into trouble at school because he’s a black nerd.” The student can be seen on the video struggling to retain his balance after the staff member used the broom to try to stop him from getting into a fight.
See: ‘Inappropriate’ but not racially motivated, the school staffer who disciplined a black boy with a broom says. It’s not “hateful,” as his mother says.
https://t.co/1oykIwGKgw — Adam Tuss (@AdamTuss) December 12, 2018
“This student is no longer in danger,” said Chang. “We believe he is safe now. In essence, he’s home free.”
He added that his office is “currently” looking into whether the school employee violated policy. Chang said he will meet with the student, his mother and his attorney to discuss whether any punishment needs to be handed down, according to Boston.com.
“I made sure our office launched an immediate investigation, which has already led to the immediate suspension of the employee in question,” Chang told reporters. “Now we need to talk to her.”
Chang said that police have been notified about the incident and that Boston’s Department of Health and Human Services is also involved in the investigation.
“Of course if there was a health related situation, or any kind of feeding related crisis in our school, we would have done something quickly,” Chang added. “We didn’t have that.”
Read the full story at The Boston Globe.
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