According to News4JAX, a Black Florida woman, Alyse Beechem, is planning to sue Duval County Public Schools after her son, enrolled at Mandarin Middle School, was called a racial slur by his teacher and told that “Black people are beneath white people.”
Beechem’s lawsuit alleges a pattern of racist abuse directed at her son, while also accusing faculty members of turning a blind eye or even exacerbating the problems.
One such incident occurred when the son complained to the teacher about another student calling him a racial slur.
“[The teacher] told [Beechem’s son] that he gets mad when someone calls him a [n-word], but he thinks he can say it about himself,” the complaint alleges. “[Beechem’s son] asked his teacher.
how she would feel if someone called her a ‘cracker,’ and she responded by calling him a [n-word], and saying, ‘you don’t have the privilege to call white people “crackers” because Black people are beneath white people.’”
Jasmine Rand, the attorney representing Beecham, tells News4JAX that seven other students have submitted written statements backing up claims of the teacher using racist language in the classroom.
The lawsuit further alleges that Beechem’s son was actually punished because he had gotten into a physical altercation with another student who had used the slur.
“According to the document, the Dean contacted Beechem and told her that her son would be suspended for three days, allegedly saying, ‘words don’t hurt and he needs to know how to handle things better,’” said the report. “The other student in the exchange was also suspended, but no formal investigation was launched at that point.”
This is not the first time a Florida teacher has been involved in a racial incident in recent years. Last August, a special education teacher for Collier County Public Schools was suspended after an altercation in which she shouted at a mother from her car that her children were “mulattos” and “half breeds.”
All of this comes as Florida Republicans pass legislation to prohibit teachers from discussing any topic that might cause people to feel “discomfort” over race.