A smartphone video in which a teacher can be heard using the n-word has set off an investigation at an Apple Valley middle school.
The recording was made during an attempt by that teacher to explain racial slurs to a group of students at Falcon Ridge Middle School last week.
According to the Facebook user who shared the video, this happened during an assembly to address an alleged earlier altercation at the school that involved a student using the n-word.
The teacher, who has not been identified, said:
"If you put the ‘a’ at the end of the word it means a person was non-immigrant — it means gaining or growing, achieving. OK, so it has a different connotation to it. Now, if you use the ‘r’ at the end — so I’m going to say it again — so I apologize if you find this offensive, but if they use the word n—– with an r … rrr, that is a racial slur. That is a racial slur. OK, that is referred to people during the slave times. So when people were enslaved — if you were African descent — that’s the word they would use to describe you. It also was a derogatory term."
The teacher was attempting to explain different uses of the n-word, and how its meaning changes when it ends in an "a" instead of an "r."
District 196, also known as Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools, gave the Pioneer Press the following statement:
“Our initial understanding is that concerns arose out of the handling of a cultural proficiency lesson with students on the importance of words and the use of language. The district is investigating the situation to determine the context of why and how this information was shared with students.”
A district spokesman told the paper he couldn't name the teacher — or disclose his current employment status — because of the ongoing investigation.
The recording is the second this month involving a Minnesota teacher using the slur around students; the other happened at Highland Park Middle School in St. Paul, ultimately leading to that teacher's resignation last week.
These are the latest in a rash of racist incidents in Minnesota schools.
Last week, the discovery of a photo showing a student in blackface delayed the distribution of yearbooks at Chaska High School — whose principal was recently called on to resign over a number of previous racist incidents.