Parents Outraged at Racist Comment Left by Teacher on Social Media

Shocked...concern...furious... these were just some of the words used by parents I spoke to regarding the derogatory post from the account of an elementary school teacher.

Posted: Aug 10, 2021 2:43 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2021 5:56 PM

Lafayette - Just days before students return to school here in Lafayette Parish, some parents are calling for one teacher to be fired.

This comes after a teacher at Ossun Elementary School left a racist comment on a public Facebook group over the weekend.

Shocked...concern...furious... these were just some of the words used by parents I spoke to regarding the derogatory post from the account of an elementary school teacher.

"The first reaction is shock that in 2021, someone was bold enough to do this publicly," said parent Cory Levier.

Another parent, Nureaka Ross saying "I’m seriously concerned, she’s poisoning the minds of the most vulnerable."

"I’m furious, I’m furious and I’m exhausted with it," said mother Robin Bugge.

Following a Facebook post over the weekend advertising a back-to-school giveaway, Julie Colley, a teacher at Ossun Elementary School posted an insensitive comment that many have deemed racist.

What followed next was outrage and anger from the community.

"One word is white privilege," said Ross.

She says it speaks volumes that someone would be bold enough to post such a comment on a public forum.

"For her to feel so comfortable making a statement of that magnitude such as n*****ville on a public forum, it speaks volumes."

Bugge says that just because you have a freedom of speech, doesn’t mean consequences won’t follow.

"I think there is an audacity of white women to say whatever they want in these spaces," Bugge said. "And it’s not alright and especially not around children."

LPSS did provide News 15 with a statement reading:

“LPSS is aware of this situation and is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. Because this is a personnel issue...No further information will be shared.”

Ossun Elementary is a predominantly black school on Lafayette's northside.

"Her prejudice should be the red flag that allows LPSS to make a final decision saying that she should not be in school until this investigation is complete," said Levier.

The local NAACP chapter 6066 also provided News 15 with a statement reading:

"We are appalled and hurt, but sadly not surprised to learn someone entrusted to guide and nurture our children, so easily shared such hatred for Black and Brown people, in a public forum. The racist anti-Black mentality has been alive in our community for decades, and we will stand up against it every time until it is eradicated. We will not tolerate this bigotry that continues to traumatize our youth and further the narrative that our Black children are second-class citizens. The NAACP Louisiana State Conference, along with our district leaders and members, are calling on the Lafayette Parish School Board and Superintendent Irma Trosclair to institute racial and cultural diversity trainings for all staff immediately. We demand something finally be done to ensure schools are more racially diverse in students, staff and leadership. It is of grave concern that Ms. Julie Colley is the disciplinarian charged with monitoring and educating Black and Brown students who are assigned to In-School Suspension, at Ossun Elementary School (an elementary school with majority Black students, but minority Black staff).

We are calling on Superintendent Trosclair to immediately remove Ms. Colley from any ability to further traumatize students, especially Black and Brown, Indigenous, and immigrants or from any ability to continue to teach this mentality to innocent students trusted in her care. Especially since history has proven the school-to-prison pipeline is perpetuated by this racist ideology Ms. Colley so comfortably displayed to all of the world - that Blacks will always be the “N-word,” and only worthy of enslavement, prisons, and torn-down businesses on the North Side of town, and where it's too dark for any human dignity after 6:30 p.m."

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