Parents of a Folsom, California teen filed a formal complaint with a district middle school after their child’s teacher made a racially-charged comment about lynching.
Eighth grader Tyler McIntyre said his American History teacher at Sutter Middle School was discussing the answers to a test about the U.S Constitution.
“One of the kids raised their hand and asked the teacher for an example of equality for what equality meant,” Tyler’s father Tyrie McIntyre told CBS Sacramento. “The teacher said equality, such as if you were to hang one black person, you would have to hang all black people and that’s equality.”
According to Tyler, every other student looked at him—the only black student in the classroom. Tyler’s mom, Victoria McIntyre, said the comment “embarrassed” her son.
“It definitely made him feel like a frog in the classroom,” his mom said.
Principal Keri Phillips told the Sacramento Observer she was “still working on a response to the matter.” A spokesman for the district said the school launched an investigation into the statement, and the teacher admitted to using the analogy.
“The teacher’s intended context was in the history of the classroom lesson around states treatment of certain individuals under the constitution,” Daniel Thigpen, spokesman for the district, told CBS.
But Tyler said the statement was not an isolated incident; the 13-year old boy said he’s fought with other students who told him to “sit in the back of the bus” and called him the N-word.
“They think it’s fine to just use it,” Tyler said, noting that he’s come to “hate that school.”
Tyler’s dad said he tries to teach the lack of diversity in his kid’s school as a “microcosm of society,” but laments “racism isn’t something he should be accustomed to.”
“I think it was ignorant. I think that it’s selfish, unnecessary, unacceptable,” Tyrie said.
School officials moved Tyler into another classroom following the complaint, but said they were unable to further discipline the teacher. The family told the Sacramento Observer they contacted their local NAACP chapter about the incident.
“[Students are] young and impressionable and they’re relying on responsible adults to teach them properly and that’s not what’s happening with his teacher unfortunately,” Tyrie said.
“I just wanted it to be exposed,” he added. “I didn’t want them to be able to cast it aside.”
Watch the video below, via CBS 13 Sacramento: