A South Carolina schoolteacher is facing calls for her firing after she reportedly used the N-word in class during an instruction about racism.
What are the details?
Audio from a viral video captured the moment in which the teacher, identified as Sara McClellan, a teacher at Cane Bay High School in Summerville, South Carolina, used the term while discussing words and phrases that are "rooted in racism," Newsweek reports.
TikTok user olivia2005nicole2 shared the audio on the social networking platform, which she captioned, "That is a teacher I've had over three years that I visited every single morning and I love — loved — so much."
"I had to have a suicide evaluation after we had that talk," the student added.
"I'm tired. I'm so tired. I had to quit my job because a white woman called me that word," she continued. "That word, it hurts people. I don't understand how an educator, a professional, can say that word in a room where you know black people are present or, matter of fact, even just students in general. Kids."
"This was stupid," she continued. "You are an educator. She took a pause before she said that so she clearly meant it."
At the time of this reporting, the video has been viewed more than 463,000 times.
Content warning: Rough language:
#greenscreenvideo I loved this teacher guys. I really did. I feel like I took an L, yay. High school. Yay. Just don’t say the word please.
Newsweek reported that a bevy of students took to the school earlier this week to protest against McClellan's presence and demand that she be fired over the incident.
Pastor Thomas Dixon, former congressional candidate, shared news of the protest on social media. He captioned the video, "My personal thoughts on this? I agree with the student's [sic] chant: 'We won't retire until she gets fired! As we say on the Low End: 'She should never have fixed her face to say it ... PERIOD.'"
A Change.org petition calling for McClellan's termination has received more than 1,100 signatures at the time of this writing.
A portion of the petition states, "Several video footage and testimonials of hard working students in Cane Bay Highschool [sic] show Ms. Sara McClellan, current head tennis coach and social studies teacher which this district tax dollars employ in a verbal discussion with a student. During this altercation the student expresses their views of the Confederate Flag. The students voice wasn't disrespectful or aggressive yet Ms. Sara McClellan responded with comparing her views to N word; which need not be said in this format."
"We demand accountability of Berkeley County School District and with Ms. McClellan," the petition adds. "We want to make they are aware of the mental trauma that she caused students of color by saying that word. In history that word was said as an action of hate, and violent crimes. This is by no means anything less than a terminal offense. We demand accountability we demand action and most importantly we demand that this school district shows students of color that they are respected also. No student of color will ever be comfortable in Ms. McClellan's classroom again."
Anything else to know?
A spokesperson for the Berkeley County School District told WCSC-TV that the incident is under investigation.
"District and school administration are aware of the video posted to TikTok which captured a portion of a classroom discussion about words and objects rooted in racism," the spokesperson said. "The teacher did make the statement that a racial slur, which the teacher identified out loud, is rooted in racism. This matter is under investigation and is being addressed in accordance with school and district policy."
The spokesperson added that the district promotes "a welcoming and supportive environment that celebrates and values diversity and respect for all students, employees, and stakeholders," and offered no further comment on the matter.