A high school teacher in Alabama has come under fire this week after using a racial slur when speaking to a student.
Shenita Morrow, the parent of an African American student at Hoover High School, tells AL.com that Teddie Butcher, a white teacher, used the N-word when speaking to her daughter during her food and nutrition class last Friday. Morrow says her daughter was listening to Tupac's "Dear Mama" while working on a project, and despite the fact that music is typically allowed to be played during that particular class, Butcher returned to the room and reportedly told Morrow's daughter to "turn the n*gger tunes off."
Hoover school superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy confirmed to AL that Butcher admitted to using the word. Butcher apologized to the class on Monday, and has since been placed on administrative leave.
Romel Williams, a parent whose children also attend Hoover High, says that she was told of the incident by her daughters, who also say that while there was a video of the incident posted on Snapchat at one point, students were forced by an assistant principal to delete the footage.
At a Board of Education meeting on Monday, Murphy said that she was told that there was foul language in the song Morrow's daughter was playing; when Morrow met with Butcher and an assistant principal that same day, Butcher made a similar claim. As Morrow pointed out to AL, no profanity was used in the song (and a quick Google search will show that the lyrics to "Hey Mama" do not contain any swear words). Morrow's daughter also spoke directly with Butcher during the meeting, telling her how hurt she was by her use of the word.
"After meeting with (Butcher), it's just baffling to me how someone does not understand the severity of the weight of that word," Morrow told AL.
School officials are currently investigating the situation; when asked about the district's procedure when dealing with such language being used by adults in the classroom, Murphy told AL that faculty, staff, and all school personnel are expected to conduct themselves in "appropriate, professional, and respectful ways."
"As we are addressing this matter, we will be looking at our board's policy and obviously taking a look at the state Teacher Code about expectations and we'll be putting her conduct and behavior up against what we know is professional conduct of one's self," she continued.
Murphy went on to tell AL that she was not sure what the final course of action regarding Butcher would be, and said she would not know until Hoover High principal Don Hulin completed his investigation.
Butcher has yet to comment publicly on the situation.