Chicago Teacher Suspended For Using "N-Word" During Lesson
POSTED: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:14pm
CHICAGO, IL – A teacher in Chicago utilized the ‘N-word’ to teach his students a lesson on derogatory language, and was later suspended from his job for using “verbally abusive” language, as documented on an official civil rights complaint filed last Thursday.
The teacher, Lincoln Brown, employed at Murray Language Academy, has since filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education, citing the suspension violated his rights of the due process clause of the 5th amendment.
According to the document, Brown saw that his 6th grade students were “unsettled” about a note being passed around with rap lyrics allegedly containing the ‘N-word.’ In response, Brown conducted a discussion about the criticism of the word, claiming it had “harmful and abusive” effects.
During the discussion, Gregory Mason, the principal at the academy, stopped by the classroom and observed briefly before walking away.
“The very insistent I entered the room, I heard Mr. Brown discussing with the entire class of students on the word, “[N-word],” Mason said, according to the lawsuit filed by Brown. “[he]…interviewed some students from the class separately, and in a private location in the school, [he] asked what they remembered about the word “Nigger” being used in class.”
A disciplinary hearing was held in regards to the incident, as stated by the lawsuit, where Brown was accused of and ultimately found guilty of violating school policy for “using verbally abusive language to or in front of a student." He was suspended for five days without pay. Brown appealed the decision and lost.
The teacher defends in his lawsuit that he was trying to "teach his class of students an important lesson in vocabulary, civility and race relations."
Brown is seeking reversal of the Board’s judgment, in addition to compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages.
The full complaint can be reviewed here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/82076637/Lincoln-Brown-v-Board-of-Education-et-al-ILND-1-12-cv-01112-Doc-1-COMPLAINT-16-Feb-2012