Mother claims Hough High teacher made racist joke about son's skin color

by: Tenikka Smith Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A mother contacted Eyewitness News after she claimed a teacher at Hough High School made a racist joke about the color of her son's skin.

Suzette Henderson said she was shocked to hear her ninth-grade son's brown skin was the target of a joke by a teacher at the high school.

Henderson said the incident happened last month, but she just learned about it last Thursday during a meeting at the school with her son, an administrator and his physical education teacher, Meghan Beltz. Henderson said during the meeting her son claimed Beltz made a hurtful comment about his skin color during class.

"That's when the PE teacher, Miss Beltz, spoke up and said, 'Yeah, we were having a discussion in class about different types of cancer and being in the sun and I told Daron dark as he is if he stays in the sun a lot he's going be nothing but a shadow,'" Henderson said.

The mother said her son told her that after the joke, he laughed along with the teacher and his classmates to hide the fact that he was upset. Henderson said the school administrator knew about the comment before their meeting last Thursday and told her that Beltz offered her son an apology.

But Henderson said she was never notified and claimed the principal also didn't know about it until she called her.

"We talked and she said she was going to get to the bottom of that because she wasn't going to accept that in her school," Henderson said.

Eyewitness News took Henderson's concerns to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. A district spokesperson confirmed the meeting Henderson mentioned did take place and that the comment was made about her son.

The spokesperson also said that the teacher has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation and that the suspension takes effect Tuesday.

Henderson wanted the principal and the district to take action to prevent something similar from happening again.

"If you can't teach everybody on an equal basis, you don't need to be teaching at all," Henderson said. "You need to find something else to do."

Eyewitness News checked and CMS does not have a specific policy on racist or insensitive comments, but it does have a policy regarding harassment of students by employees.

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