DENISON, Iowa (KCAU) – School board members in Denison faced a jam-packed room of students, parents and educators on Tuesday night, all raising concerns after more than 100 high school students walk out of class earlier in the day.
Students rallying outside their high school hoping to show administrators how seriously they’re taking a complaint made last Friday about a teacher accused of using a racial slur in the classroom.
Students filed a report with Denison School District Superintendent Mike Pardun after teacher Crystal Holt admittedly used the “N-word” as part of a classroom discussion about hate crimes.
“Whether it was in a lesson or not, I personally think it’s not okay. Nobody should use that word. It is very harmful and disrespectful. People get hurt from it,” said student Kambree Hansen.
The protest continued Tuesday night at the school board meeting filled with dozens of concerned parents and students. Others in the audience were there to show support for the teacher, Mrs. Holt.
Rhonda MacGregor saying, “This is ludicrous, and I’m a firm believer in being able to say things in context, and she would never she would never hurt anybody.”
Denison alumnus Marilyn Rodriguez added, “I mean, she showed me what it is meant to be like to be in America to be loved, and I never felt one ounce of racism on here, so it hurts that I see people calling her racist.”
The emotional school board meeting lasted several hours on Tuesday night, with people of all ages speaking out. Superintendent Pardun saying the situation is still under investigation, and the school board will not take any action until the investigation is completed.