Parent questions handling of racial slur at White City school

Molette and her son Antonio. (Courtesy: Kendra Molette)

A principal in White City is defending the schools policy on handling a racial slur in the classroom after an recent incident caused a parent protest.

Kendra Molette told News 10 that last Friday her son, Antonio Gutierrez, was called a phrase including the n- word by another student in class at White Mountain Middle School in White City.

Molette said her son told his teacher and another disciplinary figure at the school about the incident, and they didn't do anything about it.

She said the school never called her or her husband to tell them about what happened, and the offending student has not been punished.

According to Gutierrez's parents, this is not the first time their son has been racially discriminated against.

"This seems to be a reoccurring problem. I am being met with resistance from the school for some reason, and I'm not for sure why when my child's emotional well-being, as well as just the respect for himself, isn't taken care of," Molette said.

Karina Rizo, White Mountain Middle School Principal, said the school has done a full investigation on the incident.

Rizo said the teachers and students involved had meetings Wednesday to go over the exact way to handle this specific situation.

"We are doing everything possible to make sure our students and faculty are treating everyone with respect. Whether it be about racial slurs or anything else," Rizo said.

Molette said the disciplinary figure told her son to toughen up, and that words like the n-word get said in songs all the time.

Molette said she will never be okay with the way the disciplinary figure at White Mountain Middle School treated her son.

"The outcome of his decisions, shape these children. What he tried to tell my son, and taught my son, is that even when you're 100-percent right. If you're a person of color, it doesn't matter," Molette said.

In the White Mountain Middle School handbook available online, said that naive use of racist terms is a classroom level issue that does not rise to the level of being handled by the main office.

It is not referred to as a major offense or something that a student can get referred to the school office.

The school said the punishment is determined on how malicious the school thinks the intent of the statement is.

Molette is meeting with White Mountain Middle School Friday morning to discuss the issue in more detail.

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