Education Department Investigating Racial Incident at Texas School

It’s been a year since a video from inside an English classroom at R.L. Paschal High School in the Fort Worth ISD circulated around the community showing a student using a racial slur multiple times in a presentation.

In the video, other students are heard laughing, others said, “Oh my God.”

At the beginning of the video, the teacher is heard saying, “The point is not to be offended, it’s his interpretation.” Two minutes into the clip, the teacher said “We’re not trying to set this in pre-Civil War. We’re trying to stay as true to the original text as possible.”

In the days following the incident, people in the community spoke out regarding what happened and also faulted the teacher for not stopping the presentation, which lasted over three minutes.

Local faith leaders, like Rev. Kyev Tatum, pastor of New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church and the president of the Ministers Justice Coalition, denounced what happened.

“That kind of racism in our schools we will not tolerate,” said Tatum.

In the past year, he teamed up with students at Texas A&M School of Law to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

“We’ve been saying there’s something wrong with the system and now at least there’s enough probable cause for the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights to come in and do an investigation,” said Tatum Thursday morning.

He held a news conference to share with other faith leaders and people in the community about the letter he received in return from the Office for Civil Rights, which stated it was going to investigate the situation.

In his complaint, Tatum alleged that Fort Worth Independent School District discriminated against Black Students at R.L. Paschal High School, “by failing to appropriately respond to an incident in April or May 2022 in which a student repeatedly used the N-word during a classroom presentation without intervention from the teacher.”

In the letter addressed to him, the OCR said it’s, “opening Allegation 1 for investigation.” They declined to investigate his second allegation, regarding discrimination against Black students in terms of discipline and access to higher-level courses.

Over the years Tatum has expressed his belief that there’s an underlying issue regarding systemic racism in schools toward Black students.

Tatum said despite only having one of his complaints being looked into, he called it a “win.”

“We plan on changing this system for the better for the next 50 years,” expressed Tatum who said he would like to see tangible changes such as training so that incidents like this don’t happen again.


It’s unclear if the teacher was fired or left on her own terms, but on Thursday the Fort Worth ISD confirmed that the teacher is no longer employed with the district.

In regards to the investigation, Fort Worth ISD said in a statement, “The District will not comment on an ongoing investigation other than to affirm that we are cooperating fully with the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.”

When the incident initially happened, the Fort Worth ISD denounced it and said in a statement last April, “We are shocked and saddened by what happened in a Paschal High School classroom. Upon learning of this incident, both the school and District took immediate steps to investigate. The language and the actions seen in the video are inexcusable; they are neither representative of nor are they acceptable at any Fort Worth ISD school. The bottom line is this: Fort Worth ISD will not tolerate racism of any kind. We remain committed to ensuring an environment where all students feel respected and safe.”

Former superintendent Kent Scribner echoed similar sentiments and said at the time: “I am disgusted by the inexcusable behavior that took place in a Paschal High School classroom. There is no place for this kind of language in our society, much less in our schools. I am appalled by the conduct of the adult in the room and saddened by the message that it sends to our students. It is my recommendation to the Board that this teacher no longer be employed by Fort Worth ISD.”

Related Articles

Back to top button