Ohio superintendent defends principal after repeated use of n-word in front of students
A high school in suburban Kings Mills, Ohio is under fire over claims of racism for at least the fourth time this year, and it appears the issue starts at the top of its leadership.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, earlier this year, Kings High School Principal Doug Leist used the word “n*****s” in a staff meeting and then used the slur several more times to a Black student just a few months later.
Everyone: Kings High School, you’ve been in the news for racism more than 3 times in the past year. You clearly have a problem!
Kings High School: wE hAd A dIVERsiTy cluB oNCE pic.twitter.com/xHN8HPptQC
— Carlos.M (@carloss_mdez) October 23, 2018
In one instance, the principal’s repeated use of a racial slur was captured on a recording, and at least one person formally objected to his language. Even though Leist didn’t deny using the slur, Superintendent Tim Ackermann has refused to discipline him, the report said.
Kings High School first drew national attention after students were spotted wearing jerseys featuring racist language at an off-campus recreational basketball game. Unfazed by the backlash, the school official used the n-word in public just a few days later.
On another audio recording—this time at a staff meeting—Leist could be heard using the slur during a discussion about the Confederate flag and inappropriate social media activity. At one point, he even told staffers they were responsible for confronting racism—while missing the irony of his own actions.
Several faculty members of the suburban Cincinnati school were upset by his language and reported the meeting to school officials.
“I am floored,” one employee wrote. “How are parents with non-white students supposed to feel comfortable with their kids in his care?”
A few weeks later, a Black janitorial worker discovered a lynching rope hanging from a Dumpster and reported she was frightened that it had been left as a warning for her. Then a month after that several teachers at the school were called out for making comments about deporting students.
In late September during a meeting with a Black student about a dance routine being planned for a pep rally, Leist reportedly asked the young man, “Does the song say ‘n***a’?”
And later when the student returned with a friend for another meeting, they said the principal used the word three more times in conversation.
“He could’ve easily said ‘the n-word’ or ‘inappropriate language’ and I would have got the point,” the student complained in an email. ”I was extremely uncomfortable.”
Despite Leist’s racial insensitivity, Ackerman said he “had all the facts” after an investigation and believes the student and Leist have settled the misunderstanding.
“We’re learning that even using it specifically, there were still people offended by it, and we have to learn from that,” the superintendent said.
“At the end we talked it all out,” Ackerman added. “It helps show Doug’s not racist.”
Leist, however, sidestepped the question when asked if he would finally refrain from using racially charged language, saying, “I can absolutely say this: I would never intend to hurt someone.”
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