PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — A teacher accused by parents of making racist comments during a conversation with students in a Texas middle school class is no longer working for the district, according to a letter from Pflugerville Superintendent Douglas Killian.
Nexstar’s KXAN reported Friday that the Bohls Middle School teacher had been placed on administrative leave after a video of the conversation was posted on social media and given to the district.
Killian’s letter states the teacher is “no longer employed” by the district as of Monday morning after the “inappropriate conversation.”
The video shows an unnamed teacher sitting with students. The teacher can be heard saying “deep down in my heart, I am ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one.”
“Let me finish… I think everybody thinks that, they’re just not honest about it,” the teacher said.
Following the comments, a middle school student can be heard saying “I am not racist. I like all kinds.” Another student said, “I actually respected you for a while, but now I don’t get no more respect for you.”
“It was my first time seeing, hearing someone say they were racist and admitting to it,” Rhema Benjamin, who was in the classroom when the comments were made, said.
“When I saw the video I was floored and confused,” Rhema’s mom Millicent Benjamin said.
Rhema said the interaction last week started when he walked in wearing a Black Lives Matter sticker on his shirt.
“He told me I couldn’t come to his class wearing it so he made me take it off,” Rhema said.
Rhema, an eighth grader at Bohls Middle School, noted things escalated from there.
“And then a student threw a pencil across the room and me and my friend said if that were us we would have gotten in trouble so we asked him if he was racist,” Rhema explained.
The Benjamins are proud of how their son and his friends responded.
“I am happy the children had enough courage within themselves to be able to get this on tape and be able to report it to the administration,” Millicent said.
“We believe in equality for everybody and my son is an example of that and I am very proud of what he did,” Andy Benjamin added.
In his letter, Killian noted the conversation between the teacher and students “does not align with our core beliefs and is not a reflection of our district or our culture.”
He went on to apologize to students and families “for the undue stress or concern this has caused.” Counselors and administrators have been made available for those wanting to discuss the matter.
Killian also apologized “to any parents whose students [were] included in the video without their knowledge,” acknowledging the video had been shared on social and prompted local and national media attention.