A white teacher in a school in Apex, North Carolina, was suspended after a video was posted online showing him comparing a black student to a slave and shouting n***** at that student.
Soon after the incident, Dick Wesendunk, 53, was suspended with pay and an investigation was launched by Wake County School District.
Dayon Warren, 13-year-old, is a student of 7th grade. He said his Apex Middle School teacher flew into rage when a group of kids started laughing in the class. While only targeting him, the teacher threw a slave analogy to describe how Warren was “being controlled” by other students.
“I didn’t know what to say. He started calling me a slave. He could have said it different instead of using that analogy that I was his slave,” said Warren.
The incident was captured on camera by other students.
“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,” said the teacher in the video.
Warren’s mother, Ayona Wilson, said her son was humiliated when the video was posted online. Following the incident, she pulled her son out of the school immediately.
“I'm furious about this situation because my son is far from a slave and now he doesn't want to return back to school because of the humiliation and also because he's scared,” said Wilson.
She further said, “It’s more so hurtful than anything because I would never want my children to expect that. Teachers should know what to say, what not to say to these children. He also had to know some of the things he says can hurt people and that is going to stick with my son forever.”
Following the incident, Allen Ellzey, the school’s principal, sent an email to parents saying the video “raised concerns.”
“'I immediately contacted the WCPSS Human Resources department because the language used by the teacher raised concerns. They, in turn, suspended the teacher pending an investigation. While we are not at liberty to discuss confidential personnel information, please be assured that the district takes any complaints against personnel seriously and is committed to fair and thorough investigations and resolutions of such matters,” read the email.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters