Lawrence teacher accused of making racist comments in class has resigned

Posted at 9:56 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 22:05:55-05

UPDATE 11/23: The teacher accused making racist comments in class submitted his resignation during a Lawrence School Board of Education meeting.

He's currently on administrative leave for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year.


As a South Middle School teacher remained on suspension with pay on Thursday after allegedly making racist comments in class, new details emerged about the incident.

Several parents told 41 Action News that the teacher is a 6th grade social studies instructor, and at least half a dozen of them complained to the school about the racist comments.

Despite many parents telling 41 Action News the name of the teacher, the news outlet is choosing not to release the teacher's identity without confirmation from Lawrence Public Schools.

"We jumped straight into action," explained Monique Richardson, whose son goes to the school. "That's just what we did. We went straight into action."

RELATED | Lawrence teacher accused of making racist comments

Richardson said her son came home from school recently confused about comments his social studies teacher said in class.

The comments shocked both Richardson and her son.

"That whites are more superior than blacks and that because of the color of our skin, we'll never make the amount of money that other races make," said Richardson when telling 41 Action News what comments the teacher allegedly said. 

Richardson said she, along with half a dozen other parents, went to South Middle School this week to complain about the comments.

As the teacher continues to serve a suspension, Richardson wondered what the instructor was trying to teach the young children.

"I'm upset," she said. "I want to know what his angle is. What is his reasoning for saying this? To teach our children that another race is superior is basically telling our children that they should give up."

Other parents who spoke to 41 Action News said their children reported previous incidents involving the teacher.

Chitama Chitama, who immigrated from Tanzania and moved to Lawrence, said his two sons had the teacher for social studies at South Middle School.

The children would often come home and tell Chitama that they felt like they were being targeted in class because of their skin color.

"Most of the time, they were complaining about how he does not like black folks," said Chitama. "He would say to them, 'You don't need to say something,' or 'Shut up,' or those kind of things. He made the kids feel like they were not treated fairly."

When news of the teacher's suspension came out this week, Chitama said one of his sons rushed downstairs to tell him.

"My son was like, 'Dad, I told you! I keep telling you about this guy'," he said.

With the teacher still suspended, Richardson said she hoped the school district would eventually fire the man.

"[The students] shouldn't feel uncomfortable and feel like they got to walk on egg shells because of what a teacher thinks about them," she explained.

Richardson said she and other parents plan to attend the next Lawrence Board of Education meeting to call on leaders to fire the teacher.

The meeting is being held on Monday, October 24, from 7 – 8 p.m.

The location of the meeting has not yet been determined.



Tom Dempsey can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter:

Follow @KCTomDempsey

Connect on Facebook: