An assistant principal used the N-word while reprimanding a biracial fourth grader at an elementary school in Maine, and now his parents say it’s been difficult for him to go to school since.
And while district administrators say the assistant principal will attend more training, the student’s parents are concerned that it could happen again.
Nine-year-old Javon Jarrett, who attends the Willard School in Sanford, was called to the principal’s office back on Sept. 27 for taunting other students while on the school bus, according to the Portland Press Herald.
The assistant principal reportedly asked Javon why he was making fun of another student. Javon responded that he wasn’t serious, the Press Herald reported. The assistant principal then said, “If we were talking and I called you a [racial slur] and said I was joking, how would you take that?” the boy’s mother, Jessica Gouin, told the paper.
“He’s going to remember this for the rest of his life,” Gouin told WMTW, a WCVB affiliate. “His principal called him this at school.”
Neil Jarrett, Javon’s father, met with school administrators afterward, and the assistant principal said the word again, according to the Press Herald.
“I was disappointed she did that,” he said. “Now I’m worried about my kid going there.”
School Superintendent Matthew Nelson told the newspaper that he could not confirm the name of who spoke with Javon, and also couldn’t say what disciplinary measures could be taken.
“We’re trying to make an example, and we failed,” he told WMTW. “We failed in terms of being able to do that, but there was no malice intended. It wasn’t intentional in terms of that.”
Neil Jarrett said he’s concerned about his son going to school, according to the Press Herald. He also told WMTW he’s worried it could happen again in the future, perhaps to someone else’s child.
“There’s no way that would, like, cross her mind if she wasn’t really looking at him that way,” he said.