Parents of a Michigan middle-schooler wants to speak with their son’s teacher after he said she referred to him with a racial slur.
Kaden Brown, 11, told his parents—Liane Banks and Kevin Brown—that his 4th hour Language Arts teacher at Wolfe Middle School called him a mutt, reported Fox 2 Detroit.
Kaden said that while in class on Oct. 12, educator Jennifer Desmet—according to Kevin’s Facebook post—inquired about his race after stating that he had “beautiful curls.”
“We were doing our work...and she said I have beautiful curls, and she asked if I’m a mutt. And I asked what does that mean? She said that means if you’re mixed with a whole bunch of different races,” Brown said.
The posed question resulted in laughter from a classmate, as he explained that he was biracial.
“It can be a racist statement if you’re white, Mexican, it doesn’t matter what it is, it’s a racist statement,” Banks said. “A mutt is a dog, a mixed breed, an [impure] breed, and that’s not my son.”
The parents met with an assistant principal at the middle school the following day, which Brown recorded and uploaded to Facebook. They are still awaiting a resolution over the alleged incident.
“We were told we would get a phone call today, which we have not yet from the principal. They said we would investigate the matter further to see what the truth is. That’s what we were told. Now he didn’t say Kaden was lying, but he said we need to find out what the truth is,” Banks said.
Kaden said he was once called the “N-word” by some students at the school. Coupled with the aforementioned incident and this recent alleged incident have had a lasting impact on the 11-year-old, who has now began to question his identity, said the family. According to Kevin, Kaden told his mom “why cant i just be white”
Kevin uploaded a photo of his son holding a sign that read: “I’m Not a Mutt!!!” to his personal Facebook page. He said he wanted to draw attention to the incident, and hopefully jump-start conversations about being of mixed race in America.
“One of the issues that we really need to discuss is how biracial people are treated. They’re not black enough for black people, and they’re not white enough for white people, he said. “So now they’re feeling left alone. They have a void within themselves that needs to be filled. And it’s not right that my son has to deal with an issue like this so early.”
The family hopes to speak with the teacher to resolve the matter.