NC teacher suspended after video shows him comparing student to slave

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) - An Apex teacher is suspended after a video captured the teacher comparing a student to a slave.

A portion of the incident, which occurred Wednesday at Apex Middle School, was caught on video.

Ayona Wilson claims her seventh-grade son says the teacher started yelling at him after he started laughing at another student who was dancing.

Most of the video is inaudible due to other students laughing, but Wilson says you can hear the Apex Middle School teacher use a racial slur, then compare her son to a slave: "Did I call you a N******? No. I said you're being controlled by him and that's exactly what happened to slaves. They were controlled by their owners. You're letting him control you."

Wilson says she pulled her son out of school after the incident and met with the school's principal and assistant principal Thursday morning.

"This was coming from a Caucasian man to an African American student and we're already in a predominantly white community, a predominantly white school, so for him to use those words, it really hurt my feelings," said Wilson.

Wilson's son, who did not want to be identified, says the teacher later clarified his remarks by saying he was using the slave term as an analogy.

"It was just surprising that he used that word," said the student. "He could have used a better type of analogy or a better word to describe what I was doing instead of calling me a slave."

Wilson says she'd like to see the teacher be held accountable for his actions. She says the school's principal told her they are looking into the incident.

"This should be out in the open and people should see how this teacher is handling children because he is not handling them in the right way," said Wilson.

In a phone call to families, the school's principal said that the teacher in the video has been suspended by Wake County schools, pending an investigation.

"While we are not at liberty to discuss confidential personnel information, please be assured that the district takes any complaints against personnel seriously and is committed to fair and thorough investigations and resolutions of such matters," the principal said, according to a transcript of the call released by the school system.