Black teacher fired for word 'negro' - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Black teacher fired for word 'negro'

Posted: Updated:
  • MyFoxNY PhotosMore>>

  • Mug Shots

    Mug Shots

    See arrest photos, including some of the most unique and note-worthy mug shots.
    This information was supplied by law enforcement . All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law
By NY Post -

A Bronx teacher says her language lesson was lost in translation when she was fired for calling a student "Negro" — though she claims she was simply using the Spanish word for the color "black" at the time, according to a new lawsuit.

The non-tenured junior high instructor, Petrona Smith, 65, was booted from the bilingual PS 211 in March 2012 after a seventh-grader reported the alleged insult.

Smith, who is black and a native of the West Indies, has been unemployed since her ouster.

"They haven't even accounted for how absurd it is for someone who's black to be using a racial slur to a student," said Shaun Reid, Smith's attorney. "Talk about context! There's a lot of things wrong here."

The instructor took a hiatus from teaching special education in 2005 to learn Spanish in South America, because she was passionate about learning the language in a cultural context, Reid said.

Smith was also accused of calling her students "failures."

But in court papers she claims that second insult was also a misinterpretation.

Smith had allegedly asked students who had failed a test to move to the back of the room, but says she never called them failures.

She denied calling the student a "Negro," and explained to investigators that she was teaching a lesson about how to say different colors in Spanish and said the word "negro," which is Spanish for the color black. She told her students that it was not a derogatory term and that the Spanish word for a black person was "moreno."

She added that she'd been verbally abused by her charges, including being called a "f---ing monkey," a "cockroach" and a "n---r," but had never stooped to their level.

A 2011 investigation substantiated the student's undated claims based on accounts from four seventh-grade witnesses, even though the student's own parents said he'd lied about the event.

A spokeswoman for the city Law Department said, "We have received the papers and will review them."

 READ MORE AT NYPOST

  • Bronx NewsBronx NewsMore>>

  • NYC exploring ways to curb taxi speeds

    NYC exploring ways to curb taxi speeds

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:14:53 GMT
    New York City is exploring ways to curb the speed of taxis. The Taxi and Limousine Commission this week issued a request for information on "anti speeding vehicle technologies."  The measures include devices that can intervene when drivers exceed posted speeds and "advisory systems" that can sound alarms when reckless driving is detected.
    New York City is exploring ways to curb the speed of taxis. The Taxi and Limousine Commission this week issued a request for information on "anti speeding vehicle technologies."  The measures include devices that can intervene when drivers exceed posted speeds and "advisory systems" that can sound alarms when reckless driving is detected.
  • Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:15 AM EDT2014-04-16 10:15:30 GMT
    Fox 5 photoFox 5 photo
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
  • NYPD ends Muslim surveillance program

    NYPD ends Muslim surveillance program

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:36:21 GMT
    A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday. NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's Intelligence Division.
    A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday. NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's Intelligence Division.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices