A school principal in Houston is receiving harsh criticism after telling a cruel and frankly dangerous joke about a Black special needs student.
Shanna Swearingen, a white principal at Ponderosa Elementary School joked about telling police that a Black special needs student had a gun according to the Huffington Post.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the student Swearingen is referring to has behavioral problems and is know to run from class. She joked to three staff members saying, “We won’t chase him. We will call the police and tell them he has a gun so they can come faster.”
A joke like this is wrong no matter what but in light of today’s politically and racially charged environment when it comes to law enforcement and gun control it is unacceptable.
A Facebook group specifically for parents of students in that school shined a light on the incident. Jessica Spoonemore a parent at Ponderosa Elementary expressed her disgust with the incident.
“It’s disgusting … That kind of comment is disgusting. Even if it was a joke, how could you even recant something like that,” asked Spoonemore. ““Children are getting killed [by] guns, violence … That was very unnecessary and disturbing, especially for an elementary school.”
The child’s guardian was unaware of the comments made about his son until he was notified by KPRC local news. Now he’s set up a meeting with school officials to discuss the incident.
Swearingen sent a letter out to parents apologizing for her comments. Her statement:
“Your children mean the world to me, and I’m heartbroken that my thoughtless remark has caused disruption to the hard work underway here at Ponderosa. Here in our community, we had a hard year with Hurricane Harvey, and the damage it caused to a large part of our neighborhood. I was so proud of the unity seen in this community during the recovery efforts.
“Please know that the same commitment and drive that I had to make things right for our children after the storm, I have today as I work to make things right now with both staff and parents.
“I am truly sorry for the comment I made. It does not in any way reflect the love and care I have for the students of Ponderosa.”
Spring Independent School District released a comment condemning Swearingen’s comments.
“While the comment was made in jest, it was inappropriate and should never have been made.
“That point has been thoroughly communicated to Ponderosa’s principal who actually self reported the incident to the district ― taking full accountability for the inappropriateness of the comment. Ponderosa’s principal has also apologized to her school community.
“The district will continue to monitor the school climate at Ponderosa to ensure that incidents like this do not occur again.”
The district has not said whether or not Swearingen will receive punishment.
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(Source: Huffington Post)
(Photo Credit: Click 2 Houston News)