A LONDON mother has accused her son’s school of racism after his teacher allegedly defended the use of the N-word.
June Durant, from Walthamstow, east London, was furious when her 14-year-old son came home and told her his teacher had ‘justified’ black people being called the N-word during lessons.
Ms Durant claims that before the start of summer vacation last year, her son’s class was watching a film called The trapwhich included the word N.
The class teacher, who is not black, said the use of the word was correct because black people “played the stereotypes of thugs and criminals”.
Following a complaint, the board of Holy Family Catholic School in Walthamstow, east London, ruled the school had acted appropriately. The matter is now being investigated by the Teachers Regulatory Authority and the school said it could not comment as a result.
Addressed exclusively to The voice Ms Durant said: ‘The teacher put together a film called The Trap, which had the N-word in it and instead of stopping the film and apologizing for the word in the film, he told them he had the right to use the N-word because black people played out the stereotypes of thugs and criminals.
“In short, he was saying it’s our fault and it’s something that we’ve justified and given to us because of the way we are as a monolith.”
Ms Durant said her son, who has dual heritage, challenged the teacher and said it would still be considered a racial slur because the teacher in question is not black, but the teacher continued to say he could use the word.
“I’m not sending my son to school for teachers to remind him that no matter what he does, no matter how good he is, no matter how well he does in school, that he’s black. and that society will consider it in a particular way only,” she added.
Ms Durant said she was alarmed that the teacher justified the use of the word, in front of a class of nearly 30 students from black, mixed-race, Asian and other ethnic minorities.
She said she raised the complaint with the school and described their response as “slow”.
After summer vacation in 2021, she says her complaint was filed as a “math incident”, which she says understates the serious nature and racial element of the case.
Ms Durant said the school raised the matter with the teacher, but did not speak to him and other parents and students in the class who witnessed the incident.
“The school never asked us how we felt, what our opinion was and how we wanted to deal with it as parents,” she added.
She first contacted the school’s social worker, who referred her to the principal.
Ms Durant claims it takes less than two days for the governing body to come back and tell her there has been ‘no wrongdoing’ by the school.
In November last year, Ms Durant attended a Fourth Stage Governors meeting, where the Governors found the school had acted appropriately, however, she was given details on how to escalate his complaint.
She said: ‘I have not been told by the school what happened and when or what questioning of the students took place, where it is being recorded or how we as parents could protect our children who have been exposed to racism and racist language by their teacher. ”
A Holy Cross Family School spokesperson said: ‘The school is taking this matter very seriously.
“The principal and board investigated the matter and spoke to the teacher about his conduct following a complaint.
“The matter is currently under investigation by the Teachers Regulatory Authority and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Ms Durant says she had ‘no choice but to escalate this matter to the Department for Education, Ofsted, Waltham Forest Council and the police’.
Ms Durant contacted the Department for Education (DfE) and filed a teacher misconduct report with the Teacher Regulatory Authority.
A spokesman for the Department for Education (DfE) said: ‘Racism of any kind is unacceptable in schools and other education establishments, and we expect schools as employers to take action to investigate and deal with incidents if and when they occur.
“The Education Regulatory Agency is taking extra steps to investigate serious misconduct by teachers, which can result in a teacher being banned from teaching, if proven.”
Ms Durant has also reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police because she believes it to be a ‘racist incident’, but says she is disappointed with their decision to take no further action.
In a press release made public at The voicea Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: ‘On November 30, 2021, police received a report from a concerned parent regarding the language used by a teacher at a school in Waltham Forest.
“It has been alleged that following a class screening of a film in July 2021, the teacher used racist language and made comments which alarmed and upset some students.
“Officers from the Walthamstow Safer Schools team opened an investigation and worked closely with the school who had also been investigating the incident.
“The teacher was questioned on bail at a police station on January 18, 2022. He was not arrested.
“At the end of their investigation, officers sought the advice of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) whose role is to provide advice and guidance to organizations in relation to concerns about the interaction of adults with children. Advice was also sought within the police.
“It was determined that although the incident provided opportunities to learn lessons and improve how interaction with students was handled, the threshold for a criminal offense was not met and therefore , no further police action was to be taken.
“The complainant has been informed of the decision.”
According to Ms. Durant, the teacher in question is still currently teaching at the school. She demanded that the teacher be fired.
“I would like to see him taken out of school and prevented from teaching other children because eventually he will come into contact with other ethnic minority children, my son has a dual heritage and that what he said in front of him, how does he do what you think of children who have both black parents?” added Ms. Durant.
Holy Family School is part of a Catholic school that says on its website, “We are a family of many cultures sharing one faith. We exist to educate all young people towards excellence in all dimensions of their lives, recognizing the uniqueness of each and the equality of all.
But for Ms Durant she said she felt ‘let down by the school’ and said: ‘I think the outcome of the complaints procedure was predetermined to minimize the game and cover up what happened at school regarding their staff and the children we leave in their care.
“This is unacceptable and is not being dealt with appropriately given that it is a matter of public interest.”
Mrs Durant revealed to The voiceshe had several talks with her son to prepare him for racism and bigoted attitudes, but never imagined he would be exposed to them at such a young age.
She added: ‘I always talk about equality and racism and encouraged my son to take sociology as a GSCE to get an opinion because he is a dual heritage kid.
“I told him his lived experience might not be like mine because he’s a lighter-skinned brown person, but you still have a black mother and consistently he’ll be classed as black.
“He will experience all the inequalities that the system will impose on you because you are considered black, your white heritage has nothing to do with it, except for the lightness of your brown skin.”
Holy Family is a Catholic school governed by the Diocese of Brentwood, whose school offer includes 78 primary schools and 18 secondary schools. The voice contacted the Diocese of Brentwood for comment.