Illinois eighth-graders Mea Thompson, Zaria Daniel and two other students were working in a classroom group earlier this week when, they say, a substitute teacher referred to them as "African American."
"All four of us that were sitting there got offended because none of us are from Africa," Mea told NBC Chicago. "I'm Jamaican. So we said, 'Can you please not call us that?' "
"She continued to call us that and said, 'It's the politically correct term,' " the Jay Stream Middle School student told the news station. "Then she said, 'Well, back then, you guys would be considered the n-word.' "
The students say that they were floored and almost brought to tears.
"We were so shocked, and we were like, 'What? Excuse me?' " Mea said. "She was like, 'Well, back then that's what African Americans were called.' "
The students said that wasn't all, but that the teacher reportedly continued to use the word and at one point referred to the students as slaves.
At that point, the girls tell the news station, one of their fellow classmates left the room in tears.
School officials banned the substitute teacher from working at the school again after, school officials told the news station, the teacher confirmed the students' account of the incident.
"After the shock and hurt, I’m angry," Mea's mother, Shayna, told the news station. She also noted that she planned on filing a police report. "It's a new world, and the people of the past that still hang on to hatred and bigotry don’t belong in this world anymore."
Read more at NBC Chicago.