Jasmyn Spencer is an 11-year-old biracial student at Linwood Elementary School in Milwaukie, Oregon.
As reported by KGW (Video below), a teacher from the school scolded her and her friends, most of whom were minorities, for misbehaving in the cafeteria while they were having lunch.
She said that the teacher told her she’s lucky she’s not making her pick cotton and clean her house and stuff like that, and it made the girl feel really sad and targeted.
Jasmyn’s mother Syreeta said that she went to the school immediately after she learned of the incident and discussed the inappropriate remark with the school’s acting principal Rosina Hardy.
The mother told KGW that if the teacher were to yell at the kids or curse at them, that’s something forgivable. But to say something about picking cotton and cleaning houses is much deeper, and it’s not something that slips out.
A spokesperson for the North Clackamas School District confirmed the incident in a statement to the station. He said in the statement that the incident prompted an ongoing personnel investigation involving the school and the HR department of NCSD.
The school sent a letter to parents, in which it notified them that the teacher was placed on leave.
Hardy said in a follow-up note, however, that the teacher decided to leave her post this week.
Another letter sent to parents by the school read that they have concluded their investigation about the inappropriate comments by a staff member, and the employee involved is no longer employed within the North Clackamas School District.
The teacher also released a statement, in which she apologized for her words.
She wrote that she’s deeply sorry for the unnecessary and hurtful words she said, and she added that there isn’t an excuse for her language. She noted that she disappointed herself and she knows she has disappointed everyone by failing to create a school atmosphere that embraces all students.