Substitute teacher accused of using racial slur in class

CAROL STREAM, Ill. (WLS) -- A substitute teacher in suburban Carol Stream is accused of using a racial slur in class in either a case of hate speech or a history lesson gone awry. As of Tuesday night the school district is siding with the students, some of whom left the classroom in tears.

An eighth-grade social studies unit on the Cold War took a wrong turn when students at Jay Stream School say their substitute teacher referred to them with Civil War-era terms.

"She called us the N-word and she said, 'Well, back then you guys.' My four friends who are black. 'You guys would be considered the N-word,'" said student Mea Thompson. "We told her that's not right to use today or back then it wasn't right either, and she said, 'Well, what do you want me to call you, slaves?'"

"I was very offended and I was disappointed that she would say that to people our age, because I thought she knew that was disrespectful," student Zaria Daniels said.

Thompson and Daniels went to the principal and the school district investigated. A spokesperson tells ABC7 Eyewitness News that the sub, who is white and in her 50's or 60's, fancies herself as a Civil War buff, but was neither qualified nor authorized to lecture students with racially-charged language.

"It appears she attempted to teach a lesson outside of our curriculum that touched on culture and diversity. She wasn't equipped or authorized to do so," spokesperson Ryan McPherrin said.

Carol Stream District 93 will not allow the substitute teacher back into its classrooms, but at least one parent says that punishment doesn't go far enough.

"I would like to see her certificate for teaching revoked," parent Shayna Thompson said.

Thompson is appealing to local police, the state board of education and surrounding school districts, hoping that substitute teacher will not be allowed back in any classroom.

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