HOUSTON – A post circulating on social media in the Spring Branch community has caused concern. Students at Stratford High School in Spring Branch ISD voiced concern over feeling uncomfortable with a class activity by a teacher who officials said is now on administrative leave.
Mary Daly’s granddaughter said she was in the class during the incident. Daley showed KPRC 2 a photo of the class assignment that raised concern.
“I got tears in my eyes. It stung,” Daly said.
The photo depicts a “Warmup #5” activity with a photo of Tupac, a quote, and next to that a question using offensive language: “How is the word n*** complicated? How has it changed?”
Daly said she was furious.
“That word didn’t need to come up on any screen, with any children of any color,” Daly said. “A thinking human is all you have to be. You don’t have to be any color to understand that that was completely wrong of [the teacher] to do.”
Daly said the choice to use that “warm-up” was tactless, racist and inappropriate, which made several students uncomfortable.
“[Students] obviously did not feel comfortable with this immediately,” Daly said. “I’m just imagining these kids sitting there, and [the teachers] in a position of authority.”
Parents said the school principal notified them Monday of “inappropriate and offensive language” used in an “English Language Arts classroom.”
Others in the community agreed with the district.
“What lesson was she trying to teach? Like why?” graduate Blair Iverson said.
“It made me a little uncomfortable,” said a current student at the school.
This grandmother hopes the district addresses the matter.
“I would like to be safe physically and mentally in those spaces,” Daly said.
The district said it would continue its investigation and will take “appropriate actions.”
Spring Branch ISD released the following statement in regards to the incident:
“A Stratford High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave given concerns with the professional judgment in her lesson planning and delivery during a warm-up activity Monday.
“Inappropriate and offensive language was used, which the Spring Branch Independent School District does not condone and will not accept.
“We continue to investigate this incident and will take appropriate actions. We deeply regret and apologize this incident occurred.”