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School investigates teacher’s use of a racial slur in a classroom

By Kristina Russo and Eliza Kruczynski

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    WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — A mother is speaking out tonight after a West Hartford middle school teacher allegedly used racial slurs in the classroom.

An 8th grade student was sitting in class last week when he says his teacher used racial slurs directed at him.

“He’s still confused and there’s a level of sadness with him, and my kid is not a sad kid,” said Che’La’Mora Hardy, the boys mother. “I can see that this has impacted him,and he’s just looking for support right now.”

When he came home from school September 1, she says he was completely distraught.

“He’s just flailing about, pacing, mom you’re not going to believe this, couldn’t gather himself,” Hardy said.

He told his mom, in first period, his teacher was going over rules of the class.

“She said number 4, no profanity in the classroom. He was like, ‘oh, we don’t curse. Why is that even a rule?’ He was really confused about that,” said Hardy.

That is when she says the teacher outright said a racial slur directed at her son.

“Everybody gasped in the class and was sitting there stunned,” Hardy explained. “After racially profiling my child, she then gaslit the whole class and said, ‘oh, I said this word, it’s not a problem for adults and teachers, this is what we can do, but you cannot do this.’”

She reported it to the school.

Superintendent of Schools Paul Vicinus released a message to the West Hartford community addressing the incident.

“I want to make it unequivocally clear that derogatory language, racial slurs, and hate speech have no place in our schools and work against our mission to develop a sense of community and belonging,” said Vicinus.

The teacher was immediately removed from the classroom, and the school administration is working to determine the next steps throughout the investigation.

In Vicinus’s letter to the community, he stated the serious nature of this incident may merit suspension and/or termination.

“WHPS is a district that prides itself on our ability to foster school environments that are inclusive and equity-driven. Incidents such as these remind us of the importance of our collective work to create safe and welcoming spaces for all,” said Vicinus.

At a Tuesday Board of Education meeting, the issue was also brought up.

“I want to express that although we have done extensive training to create school environments that are inclusive and equity driven, we know that our work is never done,” said Lorna T. Farquharson, West Hartford Board of Education.

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