'This is What Black People Do': Family Files Claim Against California School District Over Teacher's Racist Rant Caught on Zoom

Illustration for article titled 'This is What Black People Do': Family Files Claim Against California School District Over Teacher's Racist Rant Caught on Zoom
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In today’s episode of Racists Say the Darndest Things When They Don’t Know They’re Being Recorded, a now-former Palmdale, California, science teacher resigned in January after being caught in the midst of a racist rant because she thought the Zoom meeting she had just attended had ended. Instead, a Black mother and her sixth-grade son—both of whom the display of white supremacy in education was directed at—heard what was said about them and recorded the after-school hours part of the session. Now, the family has filed a claim against the Palmdale School District.


From ABC 7:

The former science teacher at Desert Willow Fine Arts, Science and Technology Magnet Academy in Palmdale mouthed off about one of her students and their parent following office hours on Zoom in January. The Zoom meeting wasn’t properly ended, so the mother and her son heard the entire rant and recorded it.

“I mean these parents, that’s what kind of pieces of (expletive) they are. Black. He’s Black. They’re a Black family,” the former teacher is heard saying. “Your son has learned to lie to everybody and make excuses. Cause you taught him to make excuses that nothing is his fault. This is what Black people do. This is what Black people do.”

According to the student’s mother, Katura Stokes, she and her son have had trouble adjusting to the virtual learning system that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic—a thing students and parents of all races have experienced.

“My client is a single mother who has two children and like many people, struggled during the pandemic,” Stokes’ attorney, Neil Gahlawat, told ABC. “The school provided her with a Wi-Fi hot spot that her son was supposed to use to be able to access the Zoom platform, but he was having trouble getting on to that platform and then, as a result, wasn’t able to complete assignments and was falling behind in school.”

Stokes said that her son didn’t struggle in school before the pandemic and when she saw him falling behind, she reached out to the teacher for help.

Unfortunately, bigots tend to see Black people asking for any kind of assistance as leeches looking for a handout, so her response was typical.


“These parents are such fucking liars,” the teacher was heard saying. “Absolute fucking liars.”

“As a sixth-grader, growing up, looking up to his teachers, to hear his teachers say these things about him and his mom behind their back, the way she was saying them and for it to be directed at them because of the color of their skin, it was just so disappointing and hurtful,” Gahlawat said. “There’s no place for educators who say racist things in this district or in any district.”


And this, my friends, is why I continue to argue that there are certain “educators” who have no business teaching Black children. How the hell is a Black student even supposed to be able to articulate to their teacher that they are struggling and in need of help if they know the teacher’s response will be, “Stop making excuses with your Black ass,” because bigots are being allowed take charge of classrooms?

The transition to virtual learning has been difficult for millions of educators, students and parents of all races and backgrounds. Funny how certain people can understand this until Blackness is involved.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons



So, this “science” teacher, after reviewing all the available evidence around her, came to assert the hypothesis that black children have special training in how to lie and therefore do it all the time?!?

Did she even notice who our last —very white— president was? The dude who made an industry out of counting his lies. The dude whose chief strategist was charged with fraud (for defrauding Republican donors). The dude whose lawyer was sued for lying and filed a defense of “my lies are so stupid that no reasonable person would believe them.” The dude who lied about the election so much that his supporters tried to overthrow the fucking government. That dude.

Yeah, right. Black kids have special training on lying and getting away with it!!?! Jesus Hasenpfeffer Christ.