(WMTW/WFLA) – A Maine couple is outraged after an assistant school principal used the n-word while reprimanding their 9-year-old son who is biracial.
But the school says the educator was trying to teach the child a lesson, WMTW reported.
Jessica Gouin told the news station her son came home from Willard Elementary School and told his parents that his assistant principal called him the n-word.
His father called the school immediately.
The assistant principal later apologized for her word choice in a meeting with the parents.
“She said yes I know I’m wrong I did call your son a n*, and I wasn’t thinking about the consequences at the time or what it would do to your child,” the boy’s father, Neil Jarett recalled.
Jarett said the fourth-grader was sent to the principal’s office for bullying another student.
There, the assistant principal asked him, “If I called you (expletive), how would you feel?”
The superintendent claims the assistant principal was attempting to show the student how words can hurt.
“We’re trying to make an example and we failed in terms of being able to do that. But there was no malice intended. It wasn’t intentional in terms of that,” said the school district’s superintendent, Matthew Nelson.
Jarett claims his biracial son was targeted.
“There’s no way that would cross her mind if she wasn’t really looking at him that way.”
The superintendent says the assistant principal will undergo additional training.
Gouin and Jarett say they are afraid that the lack of repercussions means this could happen again.
“They’re just going to brush off and keep it that way and maybe a couple years down the line it’s going to be the same thing. It may not be my kid but someone else’s kid,” Jarett said.