Parents in Montclair want interim superintendent out over comments on racist teachers

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By Bradford Mason
Managing Editor

Reports indicate that public schools parents in the Montclair school district want interim Superintendent Dr. Nathan Parker out after comments he made about racist teachers.

The controversy stems from remarks Parker made at a Montclair NAACP Education Committee meeting last year that were deemed racist. He said that it acceptable for a teacher to be racist so long as the teacher keeps does not express racial bias when interacting with students or use racial language with students. 

“Dr. Parker has already admitted to saying that he does not have a problem if a teacher is found to be racist, as long as it doesn’t disrupt instruction," said Kellia Sweatt at a recent school board meeting. Sweatt is part of the National Independent Black Parents’Association.

Responding to the criticism, a statement by Parker was read at the meeting. He said he was misinterpreted and that he was speaking about bias in schools and how it can be reduced. 

"I do not support or condone racism in any form. It is regrettable that my comments were heard to mean the opposite," the statement said. “I did not intend to cause more harm or open old wounds by my comments. I seek to be involved in healing past practices and improving our schools and will continue to work in that endeavor. I am sorry that my words may have been misinterpreted and I appreciate the opportunity to explain my intent.”

The NAACP said that it's conducting an investigation and plans to release more details at a later date.

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