Physical education teachers at Mount Olive High School lost their jobs and tenure after they made racial remarks to African-American students last year, NJ.com reports.
Brigitte Geiger, a head field hockey coach, and Sharon Jones, a woman who had taught for 30 years, were charged for unbecoming conduct in regards to a conversation the two had in a locker room on March 2, 2012. A student overheard Jones saying: “Yeah those Negroes think they are tough (expletive),” to which Geiger replied “Yeah, that’s all they are, just a bunch of Negroes, Negroes, Negroes.” Another student’s account cited the same statements, but with a heavier use of profanity.
When the charges were initially filed, Geiger and Jones were placed on administrative assignment and performed clerical work in the school district’s “libraries”. They did not return to the school this fall. They were officially terminated on October 8th.
“It’s unfortunate that it occurred,” Larrie Reynolds, the schools superintendent, told NJ.com. “We wish the employees the very best in the future. We have an obligation to our students and staff to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct. We take that seriously, and unfortunately, in some cases, it warrants action like this. This was an unfortunate incident and we had to do what we thought was right.”
The decision in the case has also been submitted to the state Board of Examiners to review if action should be taken against the women’s teaching certificates.