UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A video circulating on social media has gotten a lot of attention in the Union County community, prompting this message from the Weddington High School principal to families:
“Good evening parents, this is Dr. Kraftson. I am aware of the video that is circulating on social media involving one of our staff members. I am not at liberty to share any details about this situation, as the UCPS Human Resources Department is now involved. This is a very serious matter and this type of behavior will not be tolerated at Weddington High School. Thank you for your cooperation and partnership with our school. Have a good evening.”
The video shared with Channel 9 appears to show a virtual class being led by a Weddington High School staff member. He asks if anyone in the class has an “803″ phone number, describing a text that he got where “he did not like the language,” saying “I got a little upset.”
He said he doesn’t know if he could repeat it, when someone asks what it says. He then goes on to read the contents of the text, which includes a racial slur. Watch the video above for the video.
“He’s concerned. He is distraught. He asks the class, ‘Who sent me this text?’” Kristy Gaines said.
Gaines said she’s known that teacher for 15 years in many realms, including as a teacher and soccer coach to her own sons.
“I can understand someone saying he shouldn’t have used that word. He was reading somebody else’s information,” Gaines said. “It seems that it was totally taken out of context for who he is. He is a man of integrity. He is a man of character. There is not a racist bone in the man’s body.”
A representative for Union County Schools said the human resources department is handling this matter.
“To use that word, a derogatory word, was very irresponsible of a teacher and to read it to a class, even though they asked for it to be read,” Nathel Hailey, the Union County NAACP president told Channel 9.
He said he feels no matter the context, the word is derogatory and condescending.
“Being a school teacher and being responsible for students,” Hailey said. “I would not have repeated that word in front of a class, and he should be disciplined for it.”
Cox Media Group