Penns Grove Middle School (276598)
Credit: Google Maps

A Penns Grove middle school science teacher is suspended over allegations that he called Black students at the school the n-word.

Reports indicate the incident occurred late last month when the male teacher became frustrated while dealing with students. The teacher allegedly said, “I’m tired of these n—–s.” The district is not identifying the teacher.

Outrage was swift as parents and students called for the teacher to be fired. Local activist Walter Hudson, who serves as chairman of the National Awareness Alliance and has a daughter who attends the school, called for the teacher to be terminated.

“We want our babies to be able to come to school in a safe and productive space, and get an education,” he said. “I will definitely be monitoring the next steps of the leaders in the school district. I will organize a mass protest, and have every news media, activists, students and other community members, and or parents, in front of the middle school.”

This week, officials from the Penns Grove-Carneys Point Regional School District announced they have suspended the teacher with pay while it conducts an investigation. The district has not discussed the allegations to the media citing its policy against discussing personnel matters.

“School districts in New Jersey must abide by NJ Law, board policies and teacher negotiated agreements when dealing with personnel matters,” Superintendent Zenaida Cobian said in a statement.

During a school board meeting Monday, March 4, the issue was brought up at the beginning of the meeting. Board solicitor Mark Toscano informed parents that they are aware of the situation and that the board could not discuss personnel matters.

However, that did not stop Hudson from voicing his opinion at the meeting. He said the district should do a better job of vetting personnel. While Hudson was speaking, board members interrupted him.

“At the end of the day, the kids are affected,” he told Board President Vicki Smith. “This is why the issues exist in our community because of leadership like yours.”