Skip to main content

A teacher who allegedly repeated the n-word in front of her class after it had been scrawled by a student on a desk is under investigation.

Minneapolis Public Schools confirmed that the teacher at Northeast Middle School has been placed on leave following the incident in an 8th Grade classroom, which sparked a petition and a student walkout on Friday.

In a petition seeking the firing of that teacher, a student who claims to have "personally" witnessed the incident says it began when a fellow student wrote the n-word on a table in class.

"About 10 minutes later (the teacher) became frustrated with some student and said 'people should not be writing ___ on the table' She said it with no hesitation, the students in the class were furious and went and got our principal. As soon as he walked in she started crying to appear like the victim, she said 'i’m so sorry mr rowe' completely invalidating the black students feelings. The principal barely said anything to her, then he pulled up an article about Kendrick Lamar stopping a white fan from saying the N-word. Students were upset and left the room."

School principal Vernon Rowe said in a message to students that the incident occurred after students were "defacing" school property and the teacher "read the slur out loud from student texts about it."

Rowe said "sharing that use of the word was unacceptable."

Later, the account says, the teacher in question told her next group of students that ‘’my last class was a bit dramatic."

The student also says that "our principal is invalidating our feelings" by suggesting it was a learning moment, while "other teachers continued telling us to keep the conversation within our group."

A Minneapolis Public Schools spokesperson said that "sharing that use of the word was unacceptable," adding that the teacher is "on leave."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

In a memo sent to families forwarded to Bring Me The News, Superintendent Ed Graff said: "Students, staff and families alike have felt the pain and trauma of one of our staff members reading a racial slur out loud from a student text during class.

"I join Principal Rowe in apologizing to the Northeast community for the use of a word that should never be used regardless of circumstances. We are a community that respects and values all members of our community and are taking steps to address the impact of this incident."

The school district said that it is conducting an investigation, a process that usually takes between 30 and 60 days, and it notes that what happens after "can vary greatly in time and content."

"If and when discipline is recommended, the employee has contractual and legal rights that may include a formal union grievance, or even mediation or arbitration," Graff added.

Until a decision has been reached the district said it can't provide any further information.

Since the incident happened, Principal Rowe has been in touch with "dozens of families and students to address both student impact and involvement," and has also "facilitated a healing circle discussion with dozens of students at Northeast last week."

Next Up

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano retires: Remembering his meteoric rise as a rookie

There was no one better than Liriano from mid-May to late-July in 2006.

kimmel morari screengrab collage

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel mocks men's sex aid made by MN company

"This is an app I won't be [down]loading," Kimmel said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 8.58.56 AM

Man hospitalized after snowmobile crash in Stearns County

The crash occurred east of State Highway 238 in Albany Township.


Indicators of COVID in wastewater skyrocketing in Twin Cities

Wastewater detection can serve as a predictor for rising and falling case levels.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Girl arrested for allegedly shooting her mother in northern MN

The incident occurred in Morcom Township Sunday afternoon.

voyageurs trail camera

Video: Voyageurs camera captures remarkable footage of wildlife trail

There were wolves, moose, bears, lynx, a fisher, marten and other animals.


Falcon Ridge Middle School in Apple Valley, MN.

Apple Valley teacher recorded using n-word during assembly

The incident is now under investigation by the local school district.

Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 9.34.39 PM

St. Paul teacher recorded saying the N-word resigns

She taught Spanish at Highland Park Middle School.

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 11.54.13 AM

North St. Paul teacher being investigated for alleged racist behavior

The teacher has been placed on administrative leave.

An Augsburg professor was suspended for using N-word in class

The class was discussing the language used in a work by James Baldwin.

Sit-in at St. Thomas' after 'n-word' left on student's door

Hundreds of students showed solidarity after the racist incident.

Henry Sibley School

High school math teacher placed on leave amid investigation

The teacher and tennis coach has been at the school district for 17 years.

Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 6.25.54 AM

Big Lake Schools investigating student's racist 'promposal'

The school district says it doesn't condone racism in any form.