LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools is investigating a video that has surfaced online appearing to show a Louisville Male High School teacher using inappropriate and racially insensitive language.
WHAS11 spoke to parents of Male High School students. They say they were taken aback when they saw the video but they trust the school to provide more context.
"Louisville Male High School strives to be a welcoming place where students and staff respect each other and can confront differences in a respectful manner," Principal William Foster said in an email to parents.
Foster said the video, which had been posted to Facebook, showed a Male High School teacher using racially insensitive language.
"When incidents happen that might contradict those values, I want to make sure I communicate with you," the school's principal said to parents. "We are taking this matter seriously."
The 30-second video starts with the teacher taking a student's phone away for an unknown reason. He then takes a Black student out into the hallway and begins reprimanding him. Before the video cuts off the teacher can be heard using the inappropriate language.
Foster said the school is reviewing the matter and "following JCPS policies and procedures in that process."
Those are words that are just inappropriate I think from anybody who are in an authoritative role, particularly when you deal with kids," Cassandra Miller told WHAS11. Her daughter, Genesis Robinson, is a junior at Male High School.
Miller said Robinson had this teacher last year and never had had this type of problem, so she was upset.
"She was angered by the video," Miller said. "I think he has to be held accountable to explain what he meant by that."
Miller said she wants to be fair, and she wants to hear the context.
And so does Marina Gonzalez; her daughter is also a junior.
She also serves as president of the Parent Teacher Student Association and is a member of the School-Based Decision Making Board.
"I heard what everyone else heard, but I don't know the context in which the statements were made," Gonzalez said. "But I can say the things that I see, because I'm involved, gives me confidence that the right things are going to be done."
Read Principal Foster's full statement to parents:
Louisville Male High School strives to be a welcoming place where students and staff respect each other and can confront differences in a respectful manner. When incidents happen that might contradict those values, I want to make sure I communicate with you so you have the latest information.
It came to our attention that a video has surfaced involving a teacher at our school. Its contents include the teacher using inappropriate and racially insensitive language. We are taking this matter seriously. I want to assure you that we are reviewing this matter, and following JCPS policies and procedures in that process.
Thank you for entrusting your child with us at Louisville Male High School. If you have any concerns or questions about your student, you can contact me at 502-485-8292.
Dr. William Foster, Principal
Louisville Male High School