Teacher In 'Hate' Incident Leaves

Students Complained About Treatment Of Minority Student

July 12, 2009|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,john-john.williams@baltsun.com

A Howard County teacher who is accused of telling an African-American student in March, "I'll lynch you," is no longer employed by the school system.

The teacher, who is white, was placed on administrative leave March 5 after the incident in a fourth-period German class at Reservoir High School in Fulton. His last day of employment with the school system was May 29.

"The teacher is no longer employed by the school system," said school system spokeswoman Patti Caplan. "I can't give you any information about how he left."

According to a hate-bias incident report filed by the school system with the Howard County Police Department, the teacher made the comment to the student after the student put several copies of a worksheet on the teacher's desk and said: "One of these days, I'm going to throw these desks around."

According to the incident report, the teacher laughed and responded: "You're kidding. I'll have to lynch you and then have a blanket party." A blanket party is slang to describe when someone has a blanket thrown over his head and is restrained in a violent way.

The student became silent and was shocked by what the teacher said, according to the incident report.

During the same class, another student - a white female - and the African-American male student decided to try to show that the teacher treated the African-American student differently from other students in the class. The white student got out of her chair three separate times without permission, including exiting the room to talk to another student. When the African-American student attempted to do the same thing, the teacher raised an objection. At the end of the class, the African-American student reported both incidents to the school's administration.

Police and the Howard County state's attorney's office decided not to file any charges against the teacher because "even though [the teacher] directed a perceived racial overtone toward a black student, at no time did [the teacher] display an aggressive, hostile stance."

The teacher was hired by the school system in August 2008, according to Caplan.

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