Principal demoted for ‘slip of the tongue’ use of N-word — and some school board members are furious
New Haven Schools

A Connecticut school principal will be transferred to another district and demoted as punishment for using a racial slur, but some school board members say that's not enough.

Principal Laura Roblee will leave Brennan-Rodgers Magnet School for another as-yet-undetermined New Haven school and demoted to assistant principal for using the N-word in discussion about "white privilege" during anti-racism training, reported the New Haven Independent.

"She was apparently talking to some teachers and said, 'What if I started saying [N-word] this, [N-word] that?'" said Darnell Goldson, one of two vocal opponents to the reassignment.

Superintendent Ilene Tracey said Roblee deserved a second chance.

"I don't think it is in the best interest of any of us to destroy a person's life over a slip of the tongue or something said in private to someone else," Tracey said. "People are treating me as if I'm not a Black superintendent. Don't you believe I also have feelings when people say something about Black people?"

But Goldson and fellow board member Tamiko Jackson-McArthur argued the issue was deserving of more than an apology.

"I don't agree with keeping this hush-hush," Jackson-McArthur said. "Black people have been conditioned to take things and say, 'Oh it's okay, that person didn't mean it.' Anybody leading a school is old enough to understand what they are saying."

"I believe in restoration, second chances and forgiveness," Goldson added. "I'm a Catholic. But I haven't heard or seen any mea culpa — any admission of guilt or request for forgiveness. This is not just about the two or three people the slur was made to. It's about all of the parents and students in school affected by that language and the employees in the district affected by the slur."

The board voted 4-3 to transfer and demote Roblee starting July 1.