Black teacher fired for word 'negro' - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

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>>

  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:45 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:45:49 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • Camping without leaving NYC (or even Manhattan)

    Camping without leaving NYC (or even Manhattan)

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:15:28 GMT
    If you thought camping meant leaving New York City, fuggedaboutit. Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan and several other parks in the five boroughs are waiting for you and your family. New York City's family camping program, run by the Parks Department, is in full swing. No cars needed; your MetroCard will get you there.
    If you thought camping meant leaving New York City, fuggedaboutit. Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan and several other parks in the five boroughs are waiting for you and your family. New York City's family camping program, run by the Parks Department, is in full swing. No cars needed; your MetroCard will get you there.
  • Lyft to start New York City service after deal with officials

    Lyft to start New York City service

    Friday, July 25 2014 4:06 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:06:49 GMT
    The on-demand ride-sharing app Lyft says it is starting limited service in New York City after reaching agreement with state and city officials to resolve regulatory issues. New York's attorney general and Department of Financial Services say the company agreed to operate "in full compliance" with existing laws and regulations, and that it will start its city service Friday night with commercial drivers only.
    The on-demand ride-sharing app Lyft says it is starting limited service in New York City after reaching agreement with state and city officials to resolve regulatory issues. New York's attorney general and Department of Financial Services say the company agreed to operate "in full compliance" with existing laws and regulations, and that it will start its city service Friday night with commercial drivers only.

Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

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