A white Chicago teacher was suspended for five days after he used the N-word in what he described as a “teachable moment.”
Lincoln Brown used the epithet after he caught a student passing a note containing rap lyrics that included the word. During the discussion, the principal walked in, heard what Brown said and later disciplined him.
Brown has taught in majority black Chicago schools for 21 years and, by all accounts has always been a staunch supporter of civil rights.
He told the Chicago Sun-Times he was surprised by the action of the principal, who said Brown had used “verbally abusive language to or in front of students” in violation of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) policy.
Brown says he was denouncing the word’s use and had previously addressed “how upsetting such language can be” when teaching Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Brown appealed his suspension, but lost. Now he is suing CPS, seeking unspecified damages.
- When employee sues, beware whistle-blower add-on that alleges violation of public policy
- Prompt investigation cuts co-worker harassment liability
- Vague report of name-calling doesn't make you liable
- Don't let abusive staff use disability as excuse; you can fire for behavior
- Supreme Court to decide burden of proof in Title VII retaliation cases