North Carolina teacher suspended after video shows him comparing student to slave

APEX, N.C. — A North Carolina teacher has been suspended after a video showed him comparing a student to a slave, WNCN reports.

The video was recorded at Apex Middle School on Wednesday.

Ayona Wilson told WNCN her seventh-grade son was yelled at by a teacher because he started laughing while another student was dancing.

Some of the video is inaudible but Wilson said you can hear the teacher say: “Did I call you a n*****? No. I said you’re being controlled by him and that’s exactly what happened to slaves. They were controlled by their owners. You’re letting him control you.”

Wilson’s son told WNCN the teacher later clarified by saying he was using the slave term as an analogy. He said of the teacher’s remarks, in part, “He could have used a better type of analogy or a better word to describe what I was doing instead of calling me a slave.”

The Wake County School District is investigating. According to WTVD, the Apex Middle School principal sent the following letter to families:

Apex Middle School Community,

I am calling to inform you about an incident that occurred in our school yesterday.

This morning I became aware of a video that showing a teacher arguing with a student. I immediately contacted the WCPSS Human Resources department because the language used by the teacher raised concerns. They, in turn, suspended the teacher pending an investigation.

While we are not at liberty to discuss confidential personnel information, please be assured that the district takes any complaints against personnel seriously and is committed to fair and thorough investigations and resolutions of such matters.

In addition, I want to make it clear that we have high expectations for behavior and policies addressing codes of ethics for the teachers in our building. We strictly adhere to these expectations and enforce these policies.

I regret having to share this news with you, but I assure you that I am committed to maintaining a standard of excellence for our school. Please contact me with any questions.