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White teacher told black student he might be 'lynched' if he didn't get back to work

by Associated Press /  / Updated 

MASON, Ohio — An Ohio school district has acknowledged that a white teacher made a mistake in telling a black student that he might be lynched if he didn’t get back to work.

The teacher at Mason Middle School made the comment to a 13-year-old boy during class in December, said the boy's mother, Tanish Agee-Bell.

Agee-Bell told WLWT5, an NBC News affiliate, that the teacher said to her son, "If you don't get back on task, your friends are going to form an angry mob and lynch you.”

Agee-Bell added: “For her not to understand that the words that she said were a direct pull from what has been, what was a practice in the United States, is unacceptable. She shouldn't be in the classroom.”

The district said in a statement the teacher did not mean to offend the student, stating that it has seen an uptick in racially insensitive comments, sometimes arising from “genuine ignorance.” Officials have pledged to continue providing cultural sensitivity training.

"Sometimes we mess up. Clearly, that was the case here," the district said. "And, even though this teacher did not set out to hurt a child — clearly that happened, too. It was amazing that this young black man was brave enough to confront his teacher when the incident happened.”

The school also tweeted out a message to families of students: "In our district we take corrective action to address these situations, but we need to do more."

The teacher will not be suspended or removed and will receive cultural training, according to Cincinnati.com.

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