Katura Stroke scheduled a Zoom call with his son's teacher to discuss his schoolwork. By the end of the online meeting, the teacher neglected to properly cut the call and made a number of racist comments to someone else off-camera. Stokes is taking legal action against the school district.
A mother has filed a legal claim against a California school district after she said a teacher went on a racist rant against her son during a Zoom call.
Katura Stokes’s 12-year-old son had struggled to adapt to online learning at his Southern California school, so his mother was thrilled when his science teacher set up a Zoom call in January to help him.
But then the teacher, Kimberly Newman, apparently forgot to end the call. For more than 30 minutes, Stokes says, she recorded Newman as she made racist comments about the family, which is Black, and bashed Stokes’s parenting skills.
Stokes said she and her son met with his sixth-grade teacher Kimberly Newman on Jan. 20 in a Zoom conference to talk about how he was struggling with the online learning platform, The Los Angeles Times reported. When Stokes thought the Zoom call was over, she said she heard Newman say Stokes’ son made excuses and lied because “this is what Black people do,” the Times reported.
“She’s answered her phone for the first time the entire year,” the White sixth-grade teacher allegedly says in a video recording shared with The Washington Post. “I mean these parents, that’s what kind of piece of s--- they are.”
Stokes recorded the call on her cell phone and now, she has sent a pre-suit claim -- a precursor to a lawsuit -- to the school district for monetary compensation for emotional distress, defamation, negligence, and discrimination, according to Stokes' attorneys and a copy of the claim provided to CNN.
The Los Angeles Times reported. Stokes has called on the school to “improve racial sensitivity training” and investigate whether there is discrimination at the school beyond their incident.
Stokes' lawyer John C. Taylor told CNN: "The horrible comments the teacher made in the video are truly heartbreaking for a mother to hear and for her young son to hear. It's unthinkable that an educator would mock and belittle this family, and there is no doubt that this incident has scarred them.
"All children are entitled to receive an educational experience free of discrimination and this video has demonstrated what minority students often face behind the scenes today."
Newman resigned after a family member contacted the school’s principal, who told the district office, according to the publication. Newman had been ordered to appear before Palmdale’s superintendent and was placed on administrative leave, but resigned rather than participate in an investigation.
“I’m here to tell you that this school board, this district, and this community will not tolerate this behavior,” said Ralph Velador, Palmdale’s school board president, the publication reported.
Palmdale school district spokesperson David Garcia told CNN: "This is something we took very seriously and within minutes placed the teacher on paid administrative leave as part of a process involved with such a situation and within days was no longer employed with the district."
Article Source: vt.co