According to the Washington Post, a pro-Trump substitute teacher at Rand Road Elementary in Garner, N.C. told her class several inappropriate non-truths and made racist comments to the students.
In Nathan Byrd’s music class, the substitute teacher was expected to put on a movie for the kids. Instead, she spoke about President Trump and religion before telling the students that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. died by suicide.
The teacher’s comments were shared on Facebook by Nathan’s father, Billy Byrd. Byrd also alleged that the substitute teacher told Nathan, along with other boys of color, that their athletic apparel “set them up for prison” and that they were “one mistake away” from going to jail. The substitute has since been forced to resign.
“It made me feel at that time discriminated against; it was like she was trying to put us black kids down as if we were nothing,” Nathan said in an interview. “I told her, ‘You’re predicting my future that hasn’t happened. I’m 10 years old and you’re older than me; you’re telling me based on my clothing I’m going to prison?' If she has a problem with it, that’s her decision.”
The substitute teacher also “glorified President Trump and his love for God, country and all Americans," according to the Byrds. She told the students that those who did not support Trump or did not believe he was a “good Christian” were not good Christians themselves. She then told the class that MLK Jr. committed suicide.
“It was crazy because, it’s like, the teacher’s supposed to be giving us the facts that we need to know in school to be better in life, but we’re the ones who’s telling her what’s right,” Nathan said. “Everything she said was very wrong. I had to let her know Martin Luther King was assassinated; he did not commit suicide.”
Billy Byrd shared his son’s outfit, a T-shirt, joggers, and Jordan-brand sneakers, on Facebook as well. He said his son is one of four minority kids in the class who was verbally assaulted by the white substitute teacher for their athletic apparel.
“My son doesn’t sag; he doesn’t wear his pants inappropriately — we don’t do that,” the father said. “For her to target them because young black boys are wearing Jordans, joggers and hoodies, that’s just bogus. That shouldn’t lead to her identifying them as a threat or prison material.”
The Byrds were happy with how the school handled the incident. Chief of communications for the Wake County Public School System, Tim Simmons, said that the school’s principal and staff spoke with “as many students as possible before the day ended.”
“Based on those conversations, the substitute teacher was contacted over the weekend and immediately resigned,” Simmons said. “She is no longer eligible to teach in the district.”
Billy Byrd is proud of his son for “standing up to the evils that be.”
“I’m trying to be proactive so nothing like this ever happens again,” Billy Byrd said. “We can’t let people with evil and negative intentions impact how we enjoy our life like we’ve always enjoyed it.”