Highland Park Middle School teacher placed on leave after using ‘racist’ language to describe Black students

Courtesy of SPPSA

A Highland Park High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave after a video surfaced on social media showing the teacher using “racist and foul” language at the school, according to school officials.

In the 24-second video, the teacher can be heard using the N-word. “They’re Black. And they’re the only f*cking N-word doing any work,” the teacher appears to say in the video. The context of the video is unclear.

In a joint statement to families and staff, St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard and Principal Char Hoff promised “immediate, aggressive action” to address the incident.

“The words and actions recorded in this video have caused harm to our Black students, their families, and our entire school community,” the statement read. “We strive to provide a safe, respectful and welcoming environment for every single child — and as educators, we should be held to a higher standard. This situation represents a failure on our part.”

The staff member is on standard administrative leave pending the findings of the district investigation.

Check back for more developments on this story.

2 Comments on “Highland Park Middle School teacher placed on leave after using ‘racist’ language to describe Black students”

  1. I retired from St. Paul a year ago
    After 30 years of teaching, so I know far better than most how SPPS schools are run. What she did was certainly wrong but I don’t think the public or most parents realize the lack of support for teachers, and the ridiculous classroom environments that good eager students must endure on a daily basis. The enrollment in SPPS is declining rapidly and parents are looking elsewhere. Good dedicated teachers are looking to get out into districts that support teachers and students that follow school policies. SPPS is too eager to do the opposite and simply bow down and give in to an overwhelming number students who simply are not socially compliant with school policies. I feel upset for so many good students that have their daily routine filled with disruptive, disrespectful students. So, don’t be to quick to judge teachers, they are abused beyond belief from all sides. My family moved out of highland park years ago to seek a better environment for my kids. My family is so happy we did. Go to any SPPS school and spend a day, you’ll most likely be shocked, and that’s the unfortunate truth. I am not an angry teacher and was awarded several times by my students. I am fearful of the future of SPPS, it’s losing good students and teachers quickly mostly due to the lack of real teacher support, consequences, standards, and most of all frightened and poor leadership.

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