/Its got to stop: Superintendent condemns teachers racist rant in school parking lot

Its got to stop: Superintendent condemns teachers racist rant in school parking lot

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A teacher at a Pennsylvania middle school has been placed on administrative leave after a viral Facebook video showed her calling a black man the N-word and using other derogatory language in the school’s parking lot. 

In the video, a teacher at Drexel Hill Middle School in Pennsylvania, is seen scrubbing at the rear bumper of a red pickup truck with her sleeve after a car crash in the school’s parking lot. The school confirmed reports that the teacher’s name is Renee Greeley.

Near the start of the video, which was posted on Thursday by Facebook user Rasheed Noel, Greeley can be heard saying, “You’re probably on welfare, too,” 

“Not even a little bit,” the man in the video responds, “Six figures a year, ma’am.” 

Greeley responds by swearing at the man in the video. He tells her that she’s only angry “because I’m young and I’m black.” 

She responds, “That’s right, because you’re black.” She continues, “Always looking to milk the system. And you see me, a white woman, so you think I’ve got money.” 

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Greeley eventually says, “Go back to your welfare… your Section 8 house.” Section 8 is the government’s program for providing housing assistance vouchers to low-income families

That draws a laugh from the man. While Greeley is comparing her truck to his car, which she refers to as a “piece of (expletive),” he tells her, “I’ve got a 3,200 square-foot home.” 

After another exchange, Greeley says, “Go (expletive) off, you (N-word).” 

“I’m sorry?” he replies. 

“You heard me,” she says. 

A statement from Upper Darby School District posted to social media said the teacher was placed on administrative leave pending further investigation. District Superintendent Daniel P. McGarry told USA TODAY Greeley is on leave without pay. 

McGarry also said the poster of the video had a third grader in his car while Greeley was ranting. He added other children were watching the confrontation from the school, too. 

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McGarry, who was named superintendent in March, said it isn’t within his power as superintendent to fire Greeley. He said the district’s investigation is complete and has been turned over to its legal team. He will make a recommendation, but Greeley’s employment will be up to the district’s school board. 

The board’s next official meeting is in November, though McGarry said the board could call for a special meeting ahead of that. 

McGarry called Greeley’s tirade “awful.” He added, “I do not believe anyone who conducts themselves this way should be allowed to teach.” 

“Such commentary, such actions will not be tolerated in our community,” McGarry said in a phone interview with USA TODAY. “Now, as a leader of this school district, I’m coming out against it, as hard as I can. We’re not going to run from this.”

Raising his voice, McGarry said, “You can not conduct yourself this way, especially when you’re working with our children and our community.” 

McGarry added Greeley, who has been a teacher since 2008, could elect to go through arbitration, she could resign or she could call for a formal hearing. He didn’t speculate on what Greeley would do. 

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“Upper Darby School District does not condone or tolerate inappropriate conduct or speech associated with hate, racism, discrimination or intolerance of any kind,” the district said in a statement

After the racial slur, the man in the video said, “This situation can change real quick.” 

Greeley replies, “Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it?” 

The man warns Greeley to stay where she is multiple times while she tells him, “Bring it on.” The video ends after Greeley calls the man a homophobic slur. 

A Facebook message to the poster of the video from USA TODAY was not immediately returned Sunday night. McGarry said he met with both the poster of the video and Greeley the day he saw the video. 

“It’s got to stop,” McGarry said. “This rhetoric and this language and the way the people feel and the way they communicate has to stop. It’s destroying the country. It’s destroying country and we’re going to be the place that’s going to prove to people that it can be done the right way.” 

In his Facebook post, Noel said he commended Upper Darby School District for taking quick action against Greeley.

McGarry said he’ll meet with a group of high school students on Thursday. He said he’s hoping to show the district this incident won’t be a defining factor moving forward. He said the kids within the district have made it know they’re closely watching this incident. 

“When you’re a diverse school community and you have socioeconomic challenges, my kids are aware and they already have a belief that people think this way about them,” McGarry said. “I’ve been having these conversations with my kids already prior to this. 

“If I don’t handle this the right way, the kids that I’m asking to listen and to step up and have goals for themselves and to go places — they can go places — we believe in them, I’ll lose them. I’ll lose the progress that we’re making.”

The video has been viewed more than 240,000 times as of Sunday evening.

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