An Oklahoma teacher was too distracted by a Black boy's T-shirt to continue her science lesson and instead allegedly asked why there was no month-long celebration of white history.
Latrell Taft had been excited to wear the "Black King" shirt he'd gotten for his 13th birthday, but he was confused and embarrassed when his middle school teacher abruptly dropped her lesson on the periodic table and singled out the student after seeing the words printed on his T-shirt with an outline of Africa, reported KFOR-TV.
"She said that if she had a shirt that said white queen it would have been racist," Latrell said. "Then after that, she said we need a white history month. I said Black people don't have enough recognition and we barely learn about Black people in February at my school."
The teen's mother, Melisa Shirley, said she contacted Heartland Middle School as soon as her son told her about the teacher's reaction -- but she was disappointed by the response.
"Initially," she said, "to be totally honest, I was brushed off."
But the school district issued a statement the following day to the TV station saying the teacher's conduct was under investigation.
"Edmond Public Schools is aware of an incident in a classroom at Heartland Middle School involving a district employee and a 7th-grade student who wore a t-shirt featuring an outline of Africa and the words 'Black King' written on the front," district officials said.
"Upon becoming aware of the incident, the school site and the district began a prompt investigation which is ongoing. District staff is also in contact with the parent of the student."
Most of Latrell's classmates -- who are predominantly white -- agreed with the teacher that the T-shirt was racist, and the teen said he was embarrassed by the scrutiny.
"I am proud of my Blackness and she will never take it away from me," said Latrell, who intends to wear the shirt again. "I would tell her Black is beautiful."
Edmond Public Schools launches investigation after teacher allegedly questions student's 'Black King' T-shirt
Edmond Public Schools launches investigation after teacher allegedly questions student's 'Black King' T-shirt kfor.com
A 13-year-old Edmond student says he was confused and embarrassed when his middle school teacher told him his T-shirt with 'Black King' emblazoned on it was racist in the middle of clas…