A racist elementary school teacher in California who was caught on a video conference call insulting her Black 6th-grade student and his mother with language laced with racist stereotypes has quit after audio from the session was made public.
SF Gate reported that Kimberly Newman, a white, now-former science teacher at Desert Willow Fine Arts, Science and Technology Magnet Academy in Palmdale, was exposed for the anti-Black racist that her words suggest she probably has been for quite a while.
After the Zoom session between Newman, the 12-year-old student and his mother — Katura Stokes — ended, neither party officially ended the call. That fact was unbeknownst to Newman, who immediately complained about the student and his mother to her husband. When the student’s mother heard Newman’s comments, she began recording the teacher’s words.
Newman claimed to her husband that Stokes had been avoiding her and only returned a missed call from the teacher by mistake — an action Newman ultimately equated with the mother’s skin color.
“She’s answered her phone for the first time the entire year,” the teacher told her husband. “I mean these parents, that’s what kind of piece of shit they are.”
Newman was just getting started.
“Two kinds of pieces of shit,” she continued. “They’re Black, he’s Black.”
After calling Stokes’ son a liar who resorts to making excuses, Newman offered her own racist explanation: “This is what Black people do.”
SF Gate reported that Newman referred to Stokes and her son by using “racist slurs,” though they’re not included in the audio from the Zoom that has been published on YouTube.
Newman was initially placed on administrative leave and removed from her classroom stemming from the Zoom that took place on Jan. 20, which also marked the annual Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. It was not immediately clear when she was allowed to resign instead of being fired for her flagrant anti-Black racism toward her elementary school-aged student.
Stokes’ official complaint to the school suggested that Newman isn’t the only racist teacher employed by Desert Willow Fine Arts, Science and Technology Magnet Academy.
“Ms. Stokes is concerned about her son’s ability to a get ‘fair shake’ at school since … other teachers appear to share similar feelings about he and Ms. Stokes,” the complaint said in part.
The OC Register suggested that Stokes, who is being represented by two lawyers, may be eyeing a lawsuit next.
The video of Stokes’ racist anger “clearly shows that unequal educational experiences for minority students exist,” Neil Gehlawat, one of Stokes’ attorneys, told the OC Register. “Like many parents whose children have struggled to transition to online schooling during the pandemic, Ms. Stokes reached out for help — and, in return, she discovered that her son was being treated unfairly because of the color of his skin.”
This is America.