Some people (black and white) say that ni**er is just a word.
Some of those same people will tell you that despite the ugly history behind the n-word’s origin, everybody should just accept it and that people should be able to use it in any setting they desire.
A teacher at South Ogden Junior High (SOJH) in Ogden, Utah felt that way and used the n-word multiple times openly before showing the film “Glory” to his class last month. The teacher’s name is Douglass Barker. Barker teaches history to eighth-graders at SOJH.
Holly Frye (pictured left), a parent of a 14-year-old black boy at SOJH is outraged over Barker’s use of the n-word in class. Frye claims her son no longer feels comfortable at school after hearing Barker use the word openly in class.
“If he were at a KKK rally, I guess that would be OK, but he’s in a public school system,” she continued.
This controversial incident at SOJH made national headlines. Utah’s Weber County School District has a “strict policy” against racial discrimination. The district claims “appropriate action” has already been taken against Baker. However, Barker was not fired for using the word in front of students.
Barker even defended his actions in an email he sent Wednesday (May 4th) to The Associated Press. “My intent has never been to offend, only to teach for understanding with historical context,” Barker wrote in his email. Many people, including Ms. Frye, believe that the school district should take further action against Barker.
“[Someone needs to] teach Mr. Barker that he cannot get away with using his classroom as a stance to preach his racist rhetoric,” Frye said in her interview with The Associated Press.
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