Lynfield College investigating after teacher repeatedly said n-word

Lynfield College where the incident occured.
Lynfield College where the incident occured. Photo credit: Google Maps

An Auckland school has launched an investigation after a teacher was filmed arguing with a student over the use of a racial slur.

A teacher at Lynfield College was reading aloud from a book to students last week when they continuously read the word n***** which was in the text. The word is considered deeply offensive and derogatory.

A student in the year 12 class challenged the teacher in a video which has been widely shared online.

"Even if you are trying to project the idea that the book is about racism and stuff you are not supposed to say it," the student argued.

"If I was to swear in this class against someone... even if I'm not saying it at you, you're gonna get mad at me and ask me why I'm saying that because I'm not supposed to say it."

The teacher argues that racism "is the point of the book" and then tells the student to leave the class if he feels uncomfortable, but they will continue to use it.

The incident appears to have breached the school's Code of Conduct which says students can expect to "be free from racial, gender, sexual and physical harassment" and are encouraged to "not allow aggressive, racist or sexist behaviour to go unchallenged".

The teacher may have broken standards within The Code of Professional Responsibility set out by The Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, specifically relating to using "authority as a teacher to undermine the personal beliefs of a learner". 

They also may have breached guidelines, including "expressing and/or promoting discriminatory beliefs and practices", "making discriminatory comments about the heritage, language, identity or culture of the learners" and "displaying a lack of respect for cultural customary protocol and disregarding cultural or spiritual beliefs".

Newshub understands the school's principal Cath Knell held a meeting with the student who was accompanied by four organisers from Auckland's Black Lives Matter protests.

The student's guardian and other faculty, including a councillor, also attended the meeting, but the teacher involved was not present.

One of those who attended the meeting told Newshub the student was offered an apology from the teacher but he instead requested the sentiment was offered in front of the whole school during an assembly.

Lynfield College principal Cath Knell told Newshub: "The school is currently working with representatives from the student body, staff and the community in responding to this incident".

A current Lynfield College student told Newshub "with all the [Black Lives Matter] protests happening you would think teachers wouldn't be so insensitive".

A recent former student also said they found teachers got away with casual racism and the video is finally evidence of it. 

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