Teacher of cultural awareness and diversity class resigns after being accused of writing N-word near middle school student’s photo

Breaking News

The teacher of a cultural awareness and diversity class in a California middle school has resigned after being accused of writing the N-word near a student’s photo.

What are the details?

Parent Liz Manipol-Lee told trustees at an Aug. 30 Lincoln Unified School District board of education meeting that her daughter saw now-former Sierra Middle School teacher Kelly Nordstrom write the racial slur on a seating chart, the Stockton Record reported.

The slur was above a black student’s photograph, Manipol-Lee said, according to the paper.

Manipol-Lee’s daughter confronted the teacher, the Record said.

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“She said she was taking notes,” a tearful Manipol-Lee added during the school board meeting, the paper noted. “I understand that children were able to see this.”

Manipol-Lee added to KXTV-TV that “we’re told … the seating chart is [what] the teacher uses to take her notes, notate points. From my understanding, she might have heard this kid say a form of that word and very casually notated it on her clipboard. But not in the same way he said it — in the form of a racial slur.”

The station blurred out an image of the seating chart in question to protect student identities.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The Record said it received an image with blurred student names and photos and the slur written with quotation marks.

The paper also reported that “it remains unconfirmed that the teacher wrote the words or that it was in her handwriting.” The paper added that it has been unable to reach the former teacher.

District spokesperson Tyler Heberle on Friday said, “[W]hile Lincoln Unified School District will continue to address the issues and harm resulting from the incident at one of our schools, we can confirm that the teacher has resigned from employment with our district,” the Record reported.

The following is a school district statement on the matter, according to KXTV. The statement was issued before the teacher’s resignation:

Image source: YouTube screenshot

The Record said the former teacher began instructing the cultural awareness and diversity class in August 2022.

Parents told the paper they’re disappointed in the teacher, particularly one who taught such a class.

“There is something missing when the teacher of a diversity class feels comfortable to write that,” Manipol-Lee told the Record.

Amy Portello Nelson, a Stockton mother, added to the paper that it was “completely inappropriate for [the teacher] to write out that particular slur directly above the student’s picture and leave that chart around for other students to see and photograph.”

Nelson also told the Record, “To add insult to injury, this teacher is their cultural awareness and diversity teacher. … The cultural insensitivity and sense of privilege in this situation is blatant.”

Anything else?

Heberle told the paper the district is working to secure a new teacher for the class and will provide support to students during the transition.

“We unequivocally condemn racism, discrimination, and exclusion of all kinds,” Heberle also noted to the Record. “We continue to be committed to teaching tolerance, respect, and kindness.”

The following video report aired before the teacher resigned:

Stockton parents call for teacher to be fired after racial slur was allegedly foundyoutu.be

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