The U.S. state of North Carolina continues to make the news for incidents of racism and bigotry. These cases are also increasingly happening inside of North Carolina’s public schools.
Raleigh, North Carolina’s News and Observer newspaper reported on Friday (June 9th) that a teacher at Apex Middle School in Wake County, North Carolina has been given a five-day suspension without pay over a racially inflammatory incident, which was recorded and posted via Snapchat on May 10th.
The teacher’s name is Dick Wesendunk. Wesendunk works as Apex Middle School’s physical education teacher and he is also the coach of the football team. In the Snapchat video, he is seen screaming at a seventh-grade student and comparing him to a slave.
“Did I call you a n—–? No. I said you are being controlled by kids. That is exactly what happened to the slaves. They were controlled by their owners. You’re letting him control you and you’re the one who’s getting in trouble,” Wesendunk said in the video.
Ayona Wilson, the seventh-grade boy’s mother took her son out of the school after the recorded incident landed online. Wilson has said that she wants an apology from the Wake County Public School System. She also wants a firm reassurance that her son will not be harassed or targeted for further hatred when he returns to school.
“After watching the video, I was furious,” Wilson told the News and Observer. “I immediately called the school. I got no answer but I know that was probably because of the time of day it was…[The incident] made my son humiliated because the children were laughing,” Wilson continued.
According to the News and Observer’s recent report, Wesendunk’s salary is almost $68,000 dollars per year. Last week, he had not responded to any contacts made to him by the News and Observer. Wesendunk is still being investigated by the Wake County Public School System.