APEX, North Carolina -- A teacher in Apex, North Carolina has been suspended after a video on social media showed him using a racial slur comparing a 7th grader to a slave.
Ayona Wilson said her 13-year-old son was humiliated when the video was posted to Snapchat, and she has since pulled him out of school.
Wilson said the incident happened Wednesday in what's known as the "Cougar Den," where students finish school work.
In the video, an Apex Middle School teacher can be heard saying:
"Did I call you a 'n*****?' No, I said you are being controlled, by kids. That is exactly what happened to the slaves. They were controlled by their owners, you're letting him control you and you're the one who's getting in trouble."
"It's more so hurtful than anything because I would never want my children to expect that," Wilson explained. "[The teacher] should know what to say, what not to say to these children. He also had to know some of the things he says can hurt people and that is going to stick with my son forever."
Dayon Warren, the subject of the video, said the teacher got mad Wednesday when a bunch of kids started laughing in class. Warren said the teacher used the slave-master analogy in an attempt to say children need to listen to adults.
"I didn't know what to say. He started calling me a slave," Warren said. "He could have said it different instead of using that analogy that I was his slave."
The Wake County School District is investigating. The Apex Middle School principal sent the following letter to families:
Apex Middle School Community,
I am calling to inform you about an incident that occurred in our school yesterday.
This morning I became aware of a video that showing a teacher arguing with a student. I immediately contacted the WCPSS Human Resources department because the language used by the teacher raised concerns. They, in turn, suspended the teacher pending an investigation.
While we are not at liberty to discuss confidential personnel information, please be assured that the district takes any complaints against personnel seriously and is committed to fair and thorough investigations and resolutions of such matters.
In addition, I want to make it clear that we have high expectations for behavior and policies addressing codes of ethics for the teachers in our building. We strictly adhere to these expectations and enforce these policies.
I regret having to share this news with you, but I assure you that I am committed to maintaining a standard of excellence for our school. Please contact me with any questions.