An Ohio middle school teacher reportedly told a black student to get back to work or he might get lynched, according to the mother of the student.
Mason City School put out a questionable statement about the incident, liking the confusion of the word "lynch" to African-American students using ni**a to their friends. She immediately emailed the teacher and then spoke to her on the phone, demanding an apology in front of his classmates, ABC News reported.
Tracey Carson, a spokeswoman for the Mason School District, confirmed that Thole had made the comment.
Agee-Bell said that she and representatives of the Diversity Council approached the district last month regarding the incident, but that the district only responded after the story received local media attention.
Agee-Bell tells WXIX Channel 19 that she thought her son made a mistake and must have misunderstood what Thole said.
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"I said to him, [.] get to work", Thole wrote.
The boy's mother, Tanisha Agee-Bell, said that her son came home from Mason Middle School, which is just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, upset.
During the public portion of the Mason school board meeting Tuesday, officials praised a guest speaker who discussed race and empathy at the district last week.
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But the teacher's words can never be unsaid, Agee-Bell said.
News of her son's experience came only days after a neighboring youth basketball team in Warren County was kicked out of its league for putting racist names on the back of their jerseys.
"I was just taken aback, because I said, 'What you said is actually worse than what he said you said'". "She shouldn't be in the classroom".
'For me, the issue that she said it, that's a problem, but that she didn't see anything wrong with that she said, that's a bigger problem'.
Despite Agee-Bell's request that action be taken against the teacher, the school district investigated the incident and only required Thole attend cultural training, according to a formal letter of reprimand placed in her personnel file on Thursday.
"Growing Greatness Together is our district's vision", the district said in a statement. Thole could not be reached for comment.
"As educators, sometimes we mess up". And, even though this teacher did not set out to hurt a child - clearly that happened too. "It was unbelievable that (Nathan) was fearless enough to confront the teacher". Sometimes these are said out of genuine ignorance.
Teens in nearby Kings, about a mile east of Mason, were banned from a youth basketball league this month for wearing jerseys with racial slurs printed on them for several weeks until a parent from an opposing team complained. "Anyone who does so faces disciplinary action", part of the statement reads.
The school went on to say that they "will continue to invest in training and resources on culturally proficient practices".