WAKE COUNTY, NC (WTVD/CNN) — A substitute teacher in North Carolina resigned after she allegedly told a 10-year-old boy his clothing was “prison attire” and that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. committed suicide.
When Billy Byrd picked up his 10-year-old son Nathan from Rand Road Elementary School in Wake County, NC, he learned the boy’s substitute music teacher had allegedly espoused racist and ultra-conservative views during class Friday.
Byrd says the teacher was supposed to show the class a video but had difficulty getting students, including his son, to calm down.
The substitute then allegedly said King’s assassination was a “complete fabrication” and singled out Nathan’s athletic gear, reportedly calling it “prison attire.”
"It’s just flabbergasting. It knocked me out when he (Nathan) said that. She said that Dr. King committed suicide. What book is she reading? And obviously, it’s not the right one,” Byrd said. “I think it was racially motivated from this individual. For her to say that him having athletic wear on was going to put him in a position to go to prison, that really bothered me the most.”
Nathan told his dad the substitute also shared her views on religion and President Donald Trump.
“This lady just started talking about how if you don’t believe in Donald Trump, that you’re not a Christian," Byrd said. “I want to see her removed from every school system in the entire country, not just Wake County.”
The father posted to social media, sharing his disappointment with what his son and the other students were said to endure. The parent of another student in the class said his daughter was “enraged” by the substitute teacher’s alleged comments.
The Wake County School District was investigating the allegations before the teacher turned in her resignation. She declined to make a comment.
Byrd and his wife say they’re proud of Nathan for the maturity and growth he showed following the incident. They say the 10-year-old corrected the teacher over her claim about King’s death.
If given the chance to speak with the substitute, Byrd says he would forgive her.
“However, I do feel that you should not have the ability to teach any children until you get the necessary help that you need going forward," he said.
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