CATAHOULA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - A Sicily Island High School parent is calling for a teacher, who is also an athletic coach, to be fired for allegedly making degrading comments towards students in a class.
Sicily Island High School in Catahoula Parish. Source: (KNOE)
"Our kids come to school to learn not to be scared or uncomfortable of the teachers that's there to teach him," said Damon Price, whose son attends school SIHS.
Price said he was informed of the alleged comments from a parent whose student was in the classroom. He said the incident happened before Christmas break.
He said he was told the teacher called the students racial slurs and other negative phrases.
"A group of Caucasian students had turned in a teacher for using racist remarks towards a group of African American students that were absent that day," Price said.
SIHS Senior Keonte Dunbar is one of those students in the class but was absent that day. He said he left school early after finishing an assignment for another teacher. Dunbar said he was informed of the comments by one of his peers.
"What he said was very unnecessary to the students, he threatened us, called us bums, said we weren't going to be nothing in life and we just in school for no reason," Dunbar said.
Dunbar said he was one of the few students that were absent from the seven-person Spanish class. He clarified it was not “senior skip day” and people were absent for various reasons.
He said after hearing the alleged remarks, he contemplated returning to class.
"At first I wasn't going to go but the teachers insisted I go, just don't say anything, do my work," Dunbar said.
KNOE reached out to the Catahoula Parish Superintendent Ronald Lofton about the alleged incident, he provided a statement:
“There was an incident reported at the school in December, the incident was investigated, dealt with, and we consider the matter closed. Because of employee and student confidentiality, no other information can be released. There have been no further incidents since that time to my knowledge.”
Dunbar said the teacher was absent for the first three days after the break, but it's unconfirmed if this is related to the alleged incident. In addition, he said a camera was installed in the classroom when they returned.
Price is asking for the school board to reconsider their investigation.
"He should've been terminated as soon as the other students turned in their statements on what he said," Price said.
KNOE has omitted the name of the accused teacher because it is a personnel matter within the school system.