LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Lafayette Parish School System mother claims a teacher read a racial slur from a book during class.
Chantelle Aaron of Lafayette says she spoke to the school district about the incident.
Aaron plans to submit a request to the school board to make such readings a violation.
She says to her knowledge the school district’s stance is that as long as the word is part of a book then it’s okay to read “as is”.
“Even if it’s a curse word, any type of racial slur or any types of words like that, they’re okay with the teacher saying it because it’s not their own personal words,” Aaron explained.
Aaron cites a school district policy on ‘Public Conduct on School Property’.
The policy can be found on the school districts website.
The list of unacceptable conduct includes “using vulgar or obscene language or gestures.”
“If you can’t say those words on your own as a policy, then you shouldn’t be able to read them either and use the excuse that they were someone else’s words and not your words,” Aaron stated.
Aaron claims during class a teacher read a passage from the book ‘A Lesson Before Dying.’
“The particular passage had the ‘n-word’ in it three times. My daughter at the time was the only black student in the class and felt personally hurt by it because she knew I contacted the teacher ahead of time to say what her personal relationship is with that word,” Aaron added.
She says her 13-year-old daughter had been called a racial slur several times in her young life.
Aaron explains the word hurt her daughter then, and hurts her now.
“Now it’s a teacher. She felt very hurt that someone who cares about you and treats you as their own child would say that word in front of her.”
She plans to request the school board approve a policy to keep such words from being allowed to be read aloud in class, even if the word is part of a book.
“For example, put the first letter and the last letter with asterisks in the middle where you know what the word is. You’re not erasing the history of the book or the history of that word; but you’re taking out some of the sting for a person who has a personal history with that word.”
We reached out several times to the Lafayette Parish Schools Public Information Officer, but our calls went unanswered.