The teacher resigned before an investigation could begin
Katura Stokes’s 12-year-old son had been struggling with distance learning, so his mother scheduled a Zoom call with his white science teacher, Kimberly Newman, who apparently forgot to end the call after the meeting. It was then, talking to someone in the background, she went on for nearly 30 minutes, calling the parents “pieces of shit” and saying, “this is what Black people do,” according to Stoke’s attorneys.
On Thursday, she filed a claim against the school that seeks monetary damages for negligence, defamation, and civil rights violations, The Washington Post reported.
You hear about the Palmdale teacher who forgot to end the Zoom call and then ranted for half an hour about how Black students lie and make excuses because "that's what Black people do"?
She's not the only teacher saying that. She's just the one who forgot to end the call first.
— James M. Tilton (@JamesMTilton) March 26, 2021
The call is disturbing.
“These parents are such fucking liars,” Newman also said on the video, which was recorded by Stokes, accusing Stokes of making up excuses and not being available to the school when they reached out in the past. “I mean these parents — that’s what kind of pieces of shit they are. Black. She’s Black. They’re a Black family,” she said. “Your son has learned to lie to everybody and make excuses.”
She went on: “To be entitled, because you taught him to make excuses that nothing is his fault,” Newman said. “This is what Black people do. This is what Black people do. White people do it too but Black people do it way more.”
A teacher forgot to exit a Zoom call with a student. That’s when her racist rant started, his family says. She calls the family “a piece of shit”, says student is lying and learning to make excuses because “that’s what Black people do.” https://t.co/ZHwQh7uJ3B
— Hopeful (@Trout8Trout) March 31, 2021
The teacher quit before she had to answer for her actions.
“This is heinous,” Garcia said. “This a hideous event and the Palmdale School District will not stomach any racial behavior, whether it’s caught on tape or not.”
A Palmdale, California science teacher resigned after being overheard after her Zoom meeting saying of a Black mother and her sixth-grade son "You taught him to make excuses that nothing is his fault. This is what Black people do.” You know what those Black people did next? pic.twitter.com/ymG3p6NWqB
— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) March 31, 2021
“It’s unthinkable that an educator would mock and belittle this family, and there is no doubt that this incident has scarred them,” John C. Taylor, one of Stokes’ attorneys, said. “All children are entitled to receive an educational experience free of discrimination and this video has demonstrated what minority students often face behind the scenes today.”
Because the teacher resigned, there is little that can be done to her. “Our investigation is limited in that the teacher is no longer with the district, so as you can imagine her cooperation is nonexistent,” Garcia said. “With her not at the district, we have no recourse at this point.”
For her and her son to have to listen to racially-motivated slander while trying to get a teacher’s help is abhorrent. “Ms. Stokes and her son have been permanently scarred as a result of Mrs. Newman’s comments,” their claim stated.