Principle Under Fire For Video In Which He Is Heard Using The N-Word Talking To A Student

The Forsyth County principal compared the n-word to "cracker" as the district is criticized for not disciplining him for his choice of dialogue.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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A Forsyth county principal was caught on camera using the n-word while talking with a student. A hateful word with what some describe as the “deepest stigma” in any language,  the revelation of this video is stirring emotions and debate over proper school behavior, especially coming from authoritative figures. Many Black children grow up hearing the word pointed at them in an offensive way, but this case shed light on the issue in a different manner. See the video footage for yourself below.

There is much not to be seen in the 37-second clip. However, the voice of the Forsyth county principal can be heard talking with the student who appears to be secretly recording the conversation. The male student is heard asking the principal what is so bad about what he calls the educator. “Cracker. Cracker is slang for white and it’s the antonym to (the N-word), which is a very offensive comment, right? So it’s almost like saying that to a white person,” the principal responds. 

According to WSBTV News, the incident occurred on Friday, September 9th. The Forsyth County principal was said to have called the student in to talk with him and two other staff members about the offensive language the student had been using. Given the dialogue heard in the video, it appears that the offensive term in question would be the student’s use of the word “cracker.” 

Despite the fact that the principal chose to use the n-word in his extensive meeting with the student, the school asserted that the intent of the discussion was to help the student understand how to be “sensitive and respectful” to everyone in the school. The school condemned the use of the n-word and noted that the Forsyth County principal has apologized for his choice of language. Since the story made headlines, the district said that he reached out to the parents of the student to discuss the matter and further make amends. 

The district announced that the Forsyth County principal would receive no disciplinary action for his behavior, although a memo noted that he wasn’t in school the day the district responded to the incident. “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” one district leader said. Additionally, officials said that both students and adults make mistakes, and they hope that the incident serves as a lesson to all.

According to reports from NBC News, local families were concerned after viewing the footage of the Forsyth county principal. One mother expressed her anger, being that her daughter is half Black. She is concerned that this behavior sets a tone for other school staff and children, showing that there is no repercussion for talking this way. “In front of anybody anyways, but at work and around children and he outright just says the word. To me, that could have just as easily been my daughter that he did that to,” the mother said. 

Users on social media have reacted to the video with extreme ridicule. Some are outraged that the principal was not punished for the act. Others are angry he compared cracker as having the same meaning as the n-word. Some defended the Forsyth county principal’s decision, arguing that the racial slurs were equally hateful.

Schools across the nation ban racial slurs and hateful terminology. But the fact that the Forsyth County principal chose to teach this particular student a lesson in racial slurs sheds light on a growing debate over how race is discussed with students in the school setting. It’s not the first time an educator has been caught up in a similar dilemma, and it certainly won’t be the last.