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TMZ reports that the incident in question happened in January, when the sixth-grade science teacher, Kimberly Newman, made bigoted remarks about one of her students and their parent after office hours on Zoom. Newman hadn’t actually ended the meeting, so the mother and son overheard the comments and recorded her 30 minute outburst about Black families.
“I mean these parents, that’s what kind of pieces of (expletive) they are. Black. He’s Black. They’re a Black family,” Newman said, per ABC 7. “Your son has learned to lie to everybody and make excuses. Cause you taught him to make excuses that nothing is his fault. This is what Black people do. This is what Black people do.”
“These parents are such (expletive) liars. Absolute (expletive) liars,” Newman also said. She resigned in January, and now Katura Stokes and her son have sued the Palmdale School District.
“My client is a single mother who has two children and like many people, struggled during the pandemic,” Stokes’ attorney Neil Gahlawat said. “The school provided her with a Wi-Fi hot spot that her son was supposed to use to be able to access the Zoom platform, but he was having trouble getting on to that platform and then, as a result, wasn’t able to complete the assignment and was falling behind in school.”
Gahlawat explained that Stokes’ son only began struggling with school after he had to take virtual classes. When Stokes saw that her son was having issues, she asked Newman for help.
“As a sixth-grader, growing up, looking up to his teachers, to hear his teachers say these things about him and his mom behind their back, the way she was saying them and for it to be directed at them because of the color of their skin, it was just so disappointing and hurtful,” said Gahlawat. “There’s no place for educators who say racist things in this district or in any district.”
The district also said they won’t stand for such conduct from its teachers.