Louisiana teacher draws outrage after using n-word to describe neighborhood on Facebook
The local NAACP is demanding accountability after Lafayette elementary teacher Julie Colley used the word when commenting in a Facebook group.
Civil rights groups and parents are calling for a Louisiana teacher to be fired after she used the n-word in a Facebook post.
Julie Colley, a teacher at Ossun Elementary School in Lafayette, used the slur when commenting in a group called “Whatz Goin On in Acadiana.”
Acadiana is one of the southern-most districts in Louisiana, containing 22 parishes, and it’s known for its strong French, Creole and Cajun influences.
Colley was responding to a post about a back-to-school giveaway, and in a comment to the start time of the event, she wrote, “Im not going at 6:30. Cameron St? That’s [n-word]ville after dark lol.”
The post was deleted from the group’s page but lives on in screenshots.
Marja Broussard, vice president of District D for the NAACP Louisiana State Conference, issued a statement on Colley’s words, writing, “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,” she continued. “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.”
Colley is a tutor and is assigned to monitor in-school suspension at her school.
Broussard added that “it is of grave concern that (the teacher) 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).”
She called on Trosclair, the Lafayette Parish School System superintendent, to “immediately remove” 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.”
The Lafayette Parish School System officials have only stated that “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.”
Local news outlet KATC notes that suspensions and other disciplinary actions are a matter of public record, as is Colley’s teaching certificate, which is active and up-to-date.
Broussard added that Colley’s comment was significant because “history has proven the school-to-prison pipeline is perpetuated by this racist ideology (the teacher) 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.”