A Texas high school teacher resigned after he was caught on video using a racial slur and complaining about “white history month.”
Norman Grueneich, a theater arts teacher employed for 14 years by Klein Collins High School, made the comments during a debate with students about race and history, reported KPRC-TV.
“Why don’t we have a white history month talking about what the Irish went through?” the teacher asks. “Because we’re white, and it’s a white privilege, right? That’s what I’m saying.”
A girl says that would be called Irish history month, and the conversation later moves on to a discussion on white people using racial slurs.
“I don’t know, why do the guys in my class say, ‘Man nigga, you crazy?'” Grueneich says. “Why do they say that, and why is it because I’m a white guy I can’t say that? That’s the way they talk, right?”
At that point a student bursts out in derisive laughter and expresses disbelief that the teacher used the slur.
Parents said they brought the incident to the attention of school administrators, but they said two assistant principals tried to minimize the complaint and justify the teacher’s language, allegedly saying that “cracker” was just as offensive and Black students should probably recognize they would face racist abuse as they got older.
“We said, ‘Look, we’re trying to go about this the right way, we don’t want to go to the media,'” said parent Jamie Olliver, whose daughter is heard speaking with Grueneich on the video. “I don’t want any backlash coming on my family, on the kids from other students, faculty, and, a whole week later, not even a phone call, not an email, not anything.”
Local civil rights activist Quanell X attended a news conference with the parents after they felt school administrators did not address the situation, and he said Gruenich’s comments were disrespectful and intimidating to students.
“This man is unfit, unqualified to be a teacher,” he said. “What I want to know is if there will be an investigation open to see what kind of grades he gave, because if you have that kind racist mindset, who knows what you’re doing in your grade book.”
The school district reported Gruenich’s resignation and issued a statement after reporters arrived at the news conference.
“Every child deserves to feel safe and have a positive learning experience in our schools,” said Klein Independent School District in a statement. “We are deeply sorry that this former employee failed to do this for our students.”
[via Raw Story]