The zero-tolerance approach to employees using a racial slur took effect last year under then-Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham, who resigned this summer for a job at Harvard University. Reyes has said it is based on adopted policies such as one on non-discrimination.
That policy doesn’t expressly forbid the use of the N-word or other slurs by staff. But it does define harassment against a student as “behavior … based, in whole or in part, on their protected class(es) which substantially interferes with a student’s school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school environment.”
Reyes said the district was taking a “strong stance” on the use of slurs by employees last year when it implemented zero tolerance but acknowledged the context of the Oct. 9 situation involving Anderson is different from previous incidents of white staff members using racial slurs in front of students. At least seven employees were fired or resigned after they were accused of using slurs last year.
Noah Anderson said there is a difference between using the N-word as a slur and as a statement that can lead to understanding.
“What my father did, he took a teaching moment of an African American male to a younger African American male on why you shouldn’t use the word and not to refer to himself that way,” Noah Anderson said.
Notes and links, here.