Texas teacher: Black student describes anger he felt when his white teacher told class his race was ‘the better one’



CNN

A black middle school student told CNN he was angry when his teacher, a white man, told his class that his race “is the superior.”

Videos of the conversation in a classroom in Pflugerville, Texas, were shared on social media last week. According to Dr. Douglas Killian, superintendent of the Pflugerville Independent School District (PfISD), fired.

Student Karmello Luellen was in the class and told CNN’s Laura Coates Tuesday night that the teacher made the remarks about race after he asked to use the restroom.

“It started because I asked him if he should go to the bathroom and he said no because he was racist. And then I asked him, ‘What do you mean by that?’” Karmello said. “That’s when it started and he started talking about it.”

In a video posted online, the teacher can be seen telling his multiracial class, “Deep down in my heart I’m ethnocentric, which means I think my race is superior,” while the students audibly both on- and off camera.

A student behind the camera asks, “So white is better than everyone else?”

The teacher replies, “Let me finish. I think everyone thinks that. They’re just not being honest about it.”

After another discussion in the video, a student asks, “You said you’re a racist, right?”

“I did, yes, I’m trying to be honest,” replies the teacher.

Karmello described struggling with his emotions as the teacher made the comments.

“It was like anger building up — but I controlled it and it went back,” he said.

Karmello’s mother, Janae Hardy, told CNN her son can be heard in one of the videos telling the teacher, “I had respect for you, but now I don’t have respect for you.”

“I had to speak to him. I spoke from my heart and said what I had to say,” Karmello said.

In its Monday statement, the school district called the conversation “inappropriate” but didn’t provide further context.

“Last Friday, November 11, ISD officials in Pflugerville were alerted to an inappropriate conversation that a teacher at Bohls Middle School had with students during a counseling class,” wrote Killian, the superintendent. “As of Monday morning, November 14, the teacher in question is no longer employed by Pflugerville ISD and we are actively seeking a replacement,” the statement said.

“We want to reiterate that this conversation is not consistent with our core beliefs and does not reflect our district or culture at Bohls Middle School,” Killian said in his statement. “The counseling session was inadequate, inaccurate and unacceptable; and this type of interaction will not be tolerated in any PfISD school.”

Hardy told the district he should also get out of the teaching profession.

“I really feel like he shouldn’t be teaching anywhere. I know he’s not in the Pflugerville district, but I don’t think he should be teaching kids if that’s how you feel,” she said.

The teacher in question was not identified by PfISD. He was identified to CNN by a parent, who shared the tone of the exchange and said his child was in the videos, but did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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