A teacher from Alabama was placed on administrative leave after using a racial slur to describe one of the most heartfelt songs in hip-hop history.
AL reports Teddie Butcher was overseeing her food and nutrition class at Hoover High School Friday (Jan. 19) when students began playing music while working on a project. Playing music is allowed in the class, but parent Shenita Morrow says her daughter told her once the students started listening to Tupac’s “Dear Mama,” they were told to “turn the ni**er tunes off.”
Her daughter’s claims were backed by other student accounts and a video that was posted on Snapchat of the incident. Butcher apologized on Monday (Jan. 22), but students were asked to delete footage or photos they had.
After meeting with Butcher Monday, Morrow said she was shocked to hear the teacher’s defense for using the word. Butcher claimed that the lyrics to “Dear Mama” featured profanity, which they don’t.
“You say the words that can get me back in focus When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy there’s no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
And even though I act crazy
I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel
You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate how you raised me
And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away
If you can make it through the night, there’s a brighter day
Everything will be alright if you hold on
It’s a struggle every day, gotta roll on
And there’s no way I can pay you back, but my plan
Is to show you that I understand: you are appreciated”
“It’s just baffling to me how someone does not understand the severity of the weight of that word.” Morrow told the outlet. “You certainly have the professionalism, the expectations of faculties and staff and all school personnel to conduct themselves in appropriate, professional, and respectful ways.”
Hoover school superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy said an investigation has started about the handling of the incident. She also said she wasn’t aware that administrators asked students to delete evidence.
“As we are addressing this matter, we will be looking at our board’s policy and obviously taking a look at the state Teacher Code about expectations and we’ll be putting her conduct and behavior up against what we know is professional conduct of one’s self.” she said. “It is my expectation as a superintendent that we’ll treat all students with significant respect, that we’ll conduct ourselves as professionals, and the things that come out of our mouths are to be respectful and professional. When we fail to do that, it’s certainly not acceptable.”