Wendy Brilowski, a teacher at Highland Park Middle School in Minnesota, is seen in a viral video using the N-word repeatedly toward her students, who filmed her racist rant.
Brilowski can be heard saying “I just walk around the room and pick on them, they’re Black.” Then she says, in front of other teachers, “they’re the only f****** n*****s.”
Another staff member said “she’s repeating what you’re saying” after Brilowski used the racist slur. However, the video does not show any students speaking prior to her abusive language.
One student told Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE11, “She was saying that she targets Black people and that she’s calling out … ‘effing n-words.’”
The student’s mother, Brandy Coleman, said, “To know that I send her out every day to be safe somewhere that she’s not, to know that she’s being badgered and being targeted and no one was there to advocate for her, it breaks my heart.”
Highland Park Middle School, located in St. Paul, Minn., serves more than 800 students in grades 6-8. The student population is approximately 41.5% white, 32.4% Hispanic, 17.7% Black, 4.1% Asian and less than 1% American Indian.
Saint Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard released a statement last week confirming Brilowski has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
“I am writing to address a disturbing video taken at Highland Park Middle that was shared on social media. 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.
“The staff member is currently on administrative leave – which is standard practice – pending the outcome of a district review.
“We will work to understand what happened and take immediate, aggressive action to address this situation.
“Highland Park Middle School strives to provide a safe, respectful and welcoming environment for every single child — and as educators, we must be held to the highest possible standard.
“The words and actions recorded in this video have caused harm to our Black students, their families, and our entire school community. These actions go against Saint Paul Public Schools core values and its commitment to serving youth and families.
“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.
“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.”