By Daryl Hannah
A substitute teacher in Chicago won’t be returning any time soon after students accused her of repeatedly calling them the N-word during a lecture on the Cold War.
Four middle-school students at Jay Stream School say they were working on a social studies project when a substitute teacher first asked them about the Emancipation Proclamation. The teacher then referred to the students as ‘African-American,’ noting it was the politically correct term for Black people. When the students, who are Caribbean, asked not to be referred to as African-American, the students allege the teacher then started repeatedly calling them the N-word.
“All four of us that were sitting there got offended because none of us are from Africa. I’m Jamaican. So we said, ‘Can you please not call us that'” student Mea Thompson told NBC Chicago. “She continued to call us that and said, ‘It’s the politically correct term.’ Then she said, ‘Well, back then you guys would be considered the n—–s.”
The shocked students said the teacher then proceeded to repeatedly call them the racial epithet throughout the 80-minute class and also referred to them as slaves, which prompted some of the students to cry.
“We were so shocked and we were like, ‘What Excuse me'” said Thompson. “She was like, ‘Well, back then that’s what African-Americans were called.'”
Following complaints from parents, the school district interviewed the teacher. Last week, the district said the teacher confirmed the students’ story. A district spokesperson said the teacher would not be asked back but that’s not enough for Mea Thompson’s mother, Shayna.
“After the shock and hurt, I’m angry,” she said. “It’s a new world, and the people of the past that still hang onto hatred and bigotry don’t belong in this world anymore.”
Shayna Thompson said she is looking into whether the teacher can be charged with disorderly conduct or a hate crime.
The Carol Stream Police Department confirmed that it is aware of the incident and is investigating it.