There are plenty of reasons for parents, students, and the community at large to be concerned about schools reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to concerns about vaccines, masks, and immunocompromised family members and peers, however, white people are apparently adding to the stress by using racial slurs in the classroom. No matter the context or intent, white people—and especially white adults—know better than to use certain language, even if, for example, it’s included in a song lyric or text, or reclaimed by a community.
One white art teacher in Covington, Georgia, however, apparently decided it was a fine idea to use the N-word not just once, but twice, while speaking to her class, according to students. The teacher, Alexandrea Boyington, was Teacher of the Year for Alcovy High School in 2018-2019 and had taught art for more than 10 years, but thankfully, the school did the right thing and launched an investigation after students claimed she used the slur, as reported by The Guardian. A video of the incident has since gone viral.
Though it’s not clear when the video was taken, it appears to show Boyington sitting on a desk and talking to her students. At one point, she asks her students if it’s okay for her to use the slur if she dates a “Black guy,” to which students can be heard telling her “No,” before she adds, she has an “N-word.” A chorus of shocked laughter can be heard before the video cuts out.
You can watch that video, as well as some interviews with students, below.
“The teacher, Ms. Alexandrea Boyington, is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of our investigation,” school officials said in a statement, adding that they had “received notifications” of the video.
“I think the board of education should do more,” senior Malik Montgomery told local outlet FOX 5 Atlanta in an interview. “You know? Look more into it… investigate into it and [Boyington should] not just be suspended. You know, she should just lose her job.”
“The video was surprising being that she was so comfortable and had the audacity to say the word not only once but twice,” one anonymous student told CBS 46 in an interview. “It baffled me.”
Given that she has been banned from the classroom as the district investigates, hopefully, it has become clear to Boyington when it’s okay for her to use that word—the answer being, of course, never.
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