A middle school student and his mother say they are glad his teacher is no longer employed at the school after admitting in class that he’s “a racist.”
“It made me mad,” 13-year-old Karmello Luellen told NBC News of the incident last Thursday at Bohls Middle School, in Pflugerville, Texas, an Austin suburb. “I respected him, but I don’t have respect for him anymore.”
Pflugerville Independent School District Superintendent Douglas Killian said in a statement that the teacher, whose name has not been made public, is no longer employed by the district. The news came just days after a viral video showed the teacher telling a class of students — Black and other races — that “deep down in my heart, I’m ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one.” He continues: “I think everybody thinks that. They’re just not honest about it.”
The remark appeared to be directed at Luellen and another Black student. The teacher appears to be white. Luellen said that he has endured discriminatory treatment in class, like the teacher not letting Black students use the bathroom as often as white ones. He also made the allegations in the video. NBC News has not substantiated this claim.
“I don’t want him teaching any other students,” Luellen’s mother, Janae Hardy, told NBC News. “I feel like he’s going to be racially profiling them, and that affects their education.”
Tamra Spence, a spokesperson for the school district, said the teacher resigned amid an investigation into the incident.
The video is one of four of the encounter that have been posted online since late last week. Music producer Southside shared the videos on Instagram and said one of the students involved is his son. The post has amassed over 300,000 likes since it was shared over the weekend. Southside lamented the situation in the caption, writing, “I’m so angry I’m loss for words but I will stand up for my child and the other black and Spanish kings and queens in this video.”
In the videos, Luellen is shown sitting with a group of classmates as he and another Black student question the teacher about his classroom policies and his beliefs about race. In one video, a Black student is heard asking the teacher, “So you are a racist?” The teacher responds, “How many times I got to say it?”
Luellen also shared one of the videos on his own Instagram account, writing, it’s “crazy this happened at my school to me and my friends.” In a follow-up Instagram post late Monday night, Luellen rejoiced over the teacher’s dismissal, writing alongside footage from a news segment: “He won’t be teaching us anymore! You have to give respect to receive it!”
Killian, the superintendent, described the teacher’s comments as “inappropriate, inaccurate, and unacceptable.”
“We want to reiterate that this conversation does not align with our core beliefs and is not a reflection of our district or our culture at Bohls Middle School,” Killian said in the statement. “Pflugerville ISD and Bohls MS staff work together to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our students."
He added that "this type of interaction will not be tolerated in any PfISD schools.”
Bohls Middle School officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Although Hardy was pleased the teacher had left, she was frustrated with school officials who, she said, didn’t reach out to her about the encounter immediately. “I found out on the news on Friday,” she said. “I was mad because the school didn’t let me know, and I had to find out that way.”
She said she has since spoken with school officials and moving forward hopes that they will be more forthcoming with her and other parents about classroom matters.
“What was done needed to be done, but they need to work on their communication,” Hardy said.
As for a message to the public, Hardy said it’s important to listen to children about their experiences in school.
“Listen to them and pay attention,” she said. “Talk to your kids about real-life situations so when they’re put in these situations, they know how to handle it.”