Teacher under fire for racially insensitive remark during middle school class

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FOLSOM (KTXL) -- The family of one local eighth-grader has filed a formal complaint against the student's teacher after he made a racially insensitive remark about lynching during a class.

It was supposed to be a junior high history lesson, but for Tyrie McIntyre's 13-year-old son, Tyler, the lesson lurched him back into a much darker time in our history.

"There was a portion in the constitution that covers equality, and from what he says, the example the teacher gave for equality was 'if you hang one black person you have to hang them all,'" said McIntyre.

It was a tone Tyler says he hadn't heard before at Sutter Middle School.

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His parents told FOX40 the teacher's comment affected their son because he was the only black student in the classroom.

"He was embarrassed. He said he felt like all eyes in the classroom were on him. He just kind of wanted to be off to himself," said McIntyre.

"For a teacher to be expressing these views upon children who are very impressionable. It's really sad," said Tyler's mother, Victoria.

"The teacher did in fact use language of that nature," said Daniel Thigpen, spokesman for the Folsom Cordova School District.

Thigpen says on Nov. 9, one week after the incident happened, they received an official complaint about the incident and the teacher, Woody Hart. The teacher acknowledged making the comment.

Hart has since been warned about using "culturally insensitive language," but district officials say his intent wasn't to offend any of his students.

"The teacher's intended context was states' historic treatment under the constitution."

FOX40 went to Hart's home to hear exactly what he meant by the comment in his own words. He declined to speak with us.

Tyler's parents say they don't want Hart to lose his job, but they say he's unfit to teach their son.

"It's more hurtful than anything. That there'd be an adult in a position of authority that would express these views to a child," said McIntyre.

The family removed Tyler from Hart's class, but he will keep attending Sutter Middle School. As for any further disciplinary action for Hart, district officials say they can't legally disclose that information.

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