A high school teacher in San Marcos, TX is under heat for telling her class that white people can use the N word. She said they can say it so long as black people continue to do so. The girl’s mother Tasha Fennell on behalf of her daughter, who is the only black student in the class said in a complaint to the school board, “I just don’t feel like it was her place to make the decision to say that in front of impressionable kids.”
It all started when a male student “interrupt[ed] the class by opening the door and say[ing], ‘What’s up my n***a?’” A student responded saying, “Dude, you can’t say that word.” And that is where the teacher inserted herself in defense of him. “If Black people can say it then white people can say it, too.”
Fennell said her daughter Azariah cried while telling the story. “My biggest concern is that my daughter has a voice,” Fennell said. “Azariah said what she said and this is how she felt.” Her daughter added, “How it makes me feel… I don’t want someone else to go through the feeling that I had to go through.”
A complaint about this was first filed in January, met with doubt from the school. Fennell is asking for an apology and wants bias training to implemented. “At this point, we’re just looking for respect, acknowledgment and for the uncomfortable conversations to be had,” she said Monday.
Fennell’s daughter has been asked to join a monthly leadership council and her mother has been asked to join a diversity council to begin in August. “It will be communicated to Azariah that the Miller community understands the importance of equity and the goal is to be more sensitive to the topic and utilize the experience as a teachable moment in the future,” a statement from the school read.
Personally, I actually don’t disagree with the teacher. Everyone can use whatever word they wish but freedom of speech doesn’t equate to freedom from consequences. If you know that a word is racially charged and will piss people off and you want to say it anyway, that’s your business. And if you lose a tooth or three afterwards, you have no one to blame but yourself.
This is a junior high school there. There is a high school in San Marco that had an anonymous Instagram account come out in 2020 posting screenshots of people there making racist statements online so it isn’t of any surprise that a teacher in their school system behave the way that she is. Also, no one has these conversations that actually cares about the people they say it to because few people with sense have this argument in 2021.
Last year I was invited to coffee to speak to someone about the “intracacies” of white people using the N word and wanted to have the conversation in person. I should have gone. I personally thought it was so stupid, I never responded. There was no way Jesus was fixing that. We will be reporting on any updates on this story.