The parents of a Folsom, Calif., middle schooler are furious after they say a teacher used a racially charged explanation in class, CBS Sacramento reports.
The incident occurred at the Sutter Middle School and was prompted by a question from one of the students.
“One of the kids raised their hand and asked the teacher for an example of equality, for what equality meant,” the teen’s father, Tyrie McIntyre, told the news station. “The teacher said, equality, such as if you were to hang one black person, you would have to hang all black people and that’s equality.”
The McIntyres’ son, Tyler, was the only black student in the classroom, and the teacher’s glib example upset the teen.
“Embarrassed, it definitely made him feel like a frog in the classroom,” his mom, Victoria, added.
The McIntyres have since filed a formal complaint with the district, and the school has launched an investigation into the statement.
According to CBS Sacramento, the teacher acknowledged that he made the comment but is defending his choice of words.
“The teacher’s intended context was in the history of the classroom lesson around states’ treatment of certain individuals under the Constitution,” Daniel Thigpen, a spokesman for the district, said.
However, Tyrie McIntyre said that the context doesn’t matter; the example should have never been used.
“I think it was ignorant. I think it’s selfish, unnecessary, unacceptable,” the father said.
“We expect that teachers will sometimes use provocative language, but we also expect that they’re not going to use culturally insensitive language that could be hurtful to others,” district spokesman Thigpen said, adding that the situation has been addressed to prevent further similar incidents.
The McIntyres, however, are far from appeased.
“They’re young and impressionable and they’re relying on responsible adults to teach them properly, and that’s not what’s happening with his teacher, unfortunately,” Tyrie McIntyre said.
Read more at CBS Sacramento.