Video of the incident surfaced online showing the White man who works at the school staring a at student walking from a classroom, when out of the blue the man yells, “What you looking at, n—–?” towards the Black student.
The racial slur immediately caught everyone standing in the hallway off guard, including the student who was filming. The employee tries to quickly apologize to the Black student but the damage had already been done.
The school employee has not been identified but has been placed on leave while an investigation is pending. He has also not been fired, but school officials say he will be disciplined
Julia Jorgenson, who is the school’s assistant principal, released a statement to families of children who attend the school condemning the teacher’s actions and confirming that disciplinary actions are on the way.
“I want to be clear in saying that the actions shown in this video are not acceptable and do not represent the values of Hempstead High School or the Dubuque Community School District,” said Jorgensen in a statement. “The staff member involved was immediately placed on leave while the district completes an investigation, which as always, will be followed by appropriate disciplinary action. We strive every day to ensure that each of our students learns in a safe, inclusive learning environment and today, for many, Hempstead did not live up to that expectation. I have talked personally with many students and parents today, as have members of our administrative team and staff across the building, to reinforce that we are here to support students today and moving forward. I have been nothing short of impressed by the maturity, honesty and emotion in those conversations. One of our Mustang values is to be inclusive, and we will continue to strive to do better each day.”
Robert Kimble, the founder of the Dubuque Dream Center, told KCRG he was pleased with the school’s decision to place the employee on leave and wanted to reassure students that they are cared about. “Number one, don’t forget that there are people who care about you in this community. But number two, use this as an opportunity to educate.”
He continued, “Our school district is a great school district. It’s just important that if there are still people out there who think this way, and act this way, that we hold them accountable,” said Kimble.
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