- A Wake County, North Carolina, substitute teacher has resigned after parents say she ranted in front of their children on February 8.
- One of the parents, Billy Byrd, detailed the incident in a Facebook post, saying the teacher praised President Donald Trump and claimed that Martin Luther King Jr. committed suicide.
- Byrd also said the teacher told his son that he was “marked for prison” because of the athletic clothes he was wearing.
A substitute teacher in Wake County, North Carolina, has resigned after parents say she ranted in front of their children last week.
The teacher, who INSIDER is not naming, is said to have praised President Donald Trump and claimed Martin Luther King Jr. committed suicide, according to one parent’s account on Facebook. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Parent Billy Byrd also sat down for an interview with The News & Observer, saying that he knew as soon as he picked his son, Nathan, up from school on Friday that something had happened.
- Facebook/Billy Byrd
Byrd asked Nathan what was wrong, and the 10-year-old recounted what happened when the substitute teacher for his music class tried to calm the class down so that they could watch a movie.
When she failed, Nathan told his father that she launched into a rant “that glorified President Trump and his love for God,” according to Byrd’s Facebook post.
- Facebook/Billy Byrd
The post continued: “This lady went as far as teaching the children in the MUSIC CLASS that Martin Luther King Jr. actually COMMITTED Suicide & that him being assassinated was a complete fabrication!!!!!”
Nathan told the News & Observer that he and other students started speaking up at that point.
“We had to draw the line there,” the 10-year-old told the paper. “All the things she was telling us were completely wrong. We had to tell her, ‘Nothing you’re saying is making any sense.'”
That drew the teacher’s ire, he said. According to his father’s Facebook post, the teacher told Nathan and “his fellow male peers of color that their clothing marked them for PRISON.”
Byrd included a photo of the outfit his son was wearing that day, showing him wearing a black graphic T-shirt, sweatpants, and basketball sneakers.
“To wear athletic apparel while being BLACK is obviously a MARK for long term imprisonment these days by racist radicals portraying to be godly and upright conservative Christians,” Byrd commented in his post.
Byrd praised the school’s principal in his post for addressing the issue immediately. He told the News & Observer that he called the school that day and heard from the principal that other parents had complained, as well.
The teacher’s employment status was “frozen” in response, so that no one could hire her while she was being investigated, according to the News & Observer.
By Sunday, the teacher had told the district that she was resigning, Lisa Luten, a district spokeswoman told the News & Observer.
In an interview with WTVD, Byrd had a message for the teacher: “I forgive you. I don’t have no hatred towards you. However, I do feel that you should not have the ability to teach any children until you get the necessary help you need going forward.”
A WTVD reporter showed up to the teacher’s house, but she refused to be recorded. INSIDER also called her for comment, but did not get a response.
- Read more about MLK and civil rights on INSIDER:
- 7 of Martin Luther King Jr.’s family members who have continued his legacy
- 7 inspirational speeches from Martin Luther King Jr. that aren’t “I Have a Dream”
- 12 inspiring quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.
- 18 of the most historic US civil rights moments of the last 150 years