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Teacher Resigns After Using Racial Slur to Try to Teach a Lesson

"[I]t would seem that the lesson to extract here is that one derogatory term actually does carry more weight than another."

Image via KEYE-TV

It seems she was trying to make a point about respectful language.

It backfired on her.

A teacher at Texas' Pflugerville High School resigned earlier this month after she allegedly used a racial slur in a conversation with a student.

"She said, 'How would you like it if someone called you a n*****?'" recalled high school senior Isaiah Thomas, who is black.

KXAN-TV reported that Thomas admitted to using "a derogatory term directed towards gay people" in class and that his teacher, Gretchen Summers, was lecturing him about how slurs can be hurtful to others when she said "n*****."

Thomas promptly reported the matter to the principle, and Summers was placed on leave before resigning.

News coverage hasn't focused much on the fact that Thomas was using a slur of his own. Instead, the focus has been squarely on Summers, who resigned two days after the incident allegedly took place on May 12, and the disrespect Thomas says he feels.

"He's still mad," said Thomas' mother, Charlott Swist, of her son. "Right now he's still mad. I can't fix it, all I can do is pray for him."

Swist called for a "public apology" from Summers and told KEYE-TV that she teaches her children not to call one another racial slurs.

The KEYE interview did not address the fact that Thomas had used an anti-gay slur.

As Gawker's Rich Juzwiak noted, the fact that the teacher has resigned for using a racial slur in an analogy, while Thomas' use of an anti-gay slur in the first place goes seemingly undiscussed, speaks volumes.

"[I]t would seem that the lesson to extract here is that one derogatory term actually does carry more weight than another," Juzwiak wrote. "Summers’s lesson went unlearned."

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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