ONLY ON 6: Racially insensitive comment probed at Guilderland school


GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (WRGB) - School officials in Guilderland are investigating alleged racial comments that were made by a teacher at Farnsworth Middle School.

"I was so infuriated," said Daphne Rivera.

Rivera was shocked when her son told her what happened on Friday in his new tech class.

"My teacher was trying to find me a place to sit. He said, 'I’ll seat you between these two kids, monkey in the middle’," Shawn Dukes said.

The Farnsworth Middle School teacher allegedly referred to the African-American seventh grader as a "monkey."

"It made me really sad,” Shawn said.

And it made Shawn’s mom question moving him to Farnsworth for middle school just last month.

"Why would you say that?” Rivera said. “It just angered me. For it to come from a teacher, it was very hurtful.”

Rivera reached out to the school.

"I asked, 'So what's going to happen to the teacher? And [the principal] said, ‘Well, we asked him not to use those kind of words.’"

CBS 6 spoke with the school district, which released a statement, saying in part: “The district immediately launched an investigation when it was made aware of a racially insensitive statement made by a teacher.”

"Our top priority is to make sure each and every one of our students feels like when they come to school, they're welcome and safe,” Superintendent Dr. Marie Wiles said.

She says the district is very dedicated to investigating what happened and doing so quickly. She can't say what, if any, consequences the teacher will face.

"I would like to see that teacher disciplined. I would like to see that teacher fired, to tell you the truth,” Rivera said Wednesday.

Shawn, 13, says he just wants his teacher to think about the words before using them.

"I hope he realizes that that was really racist to say, and messed up to say to a kid like me," Shawn said.

The district says it hopes to wrap up its investigation of the incident very soon.

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