A Mason Middle School teacher is on administrative leave after making a comment to a black student that he could be "lynched" for not paying attention. The comment didn't go over to well with the boy's mother who is demanding accountability from the school.
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Mason City Schools superintendent Gail Kist-Kline issued a statement in a video posted on Facebook saying, "We had a teacher who made a thoughtless, offensive comment, and the student that that comment was directed at took her to account, and when she realized the gravity of the situation, she apologized."
"We feel like we need to apologize as well (not only) to the student, but to all those that we've let down so that we can begin to move forward from the situation." Renee Thole is the teacher who made the comment and has since been placed on administrative leave due to the incident.
The mother of the student, Tanisha Agee-Bell, said, "I don't know if she is racist," Agee-Bell said. "I know what she said is racist. … She kept asking him why he thought it was racist, and his whole commentary to me was, ‘I don't understand why she kept asking me that because she's a social studies teacher. She should understand why it's racist."
Agee-Bell met with other parents in connection with the incident Thursday night at Crossroads Church to discuss what happened and how to hold the district accountable in the future.
"We are going to be watching and trying to help the district to move forward to work that is actually going to be sustainable and repeatable across the district. I am proud of him for standing up and saying, ‘I am not going to allow you to hurt me'," Agee-Bell said.
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