‘Outraged’ by racist rant by Jersey City teacher, McKnight calls for youth mental health counseling


“Outraged” by the racist rant by a Jersey City teacher that surfaced earlier this week, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight is calling for youth mental health counseling for those affected by the incident.

Assemblywoman Angela McKnight. Instagram photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I am outraged by the racist rant that students at the Academy 1 Middle School in Jersey City had to endure this week. This is sad and sickening. Our students shouldn’t have to endure racism in our school system where they are supposed to be learning, not being ridiculed,” McKnight said in a statement.

“Teachers and other leaders of all races and ethnicities have to understand and be accountable for racist acts. This is one reason why I reintroduced AR53, legislation declaring racism a public health crisis. Racism is never acceptable and especially not toward our children by people they are supposed to trust, such as their teachers.”

On Monday, an 18-minute recording surfaced where a white special needs teacher went off on a tirade following a dispute between two students: one who is white and one who is Black, the Jersey City Times first reported.

“Do you want to be pregnant at 17? Do you want to be in jail? Do you want to be dead? Because you beat each other up mentally, psychologically, and physically. It’s not working. It’s not working for your community. Your neighborhood is filled with violence. Who’s perpetrating the violence? Black on Black,” the teacher said on a portion of the recording.

“The whites aren’t coming in here shooting y’all down. Are they, are they? How many white people came and shot you today? How many white girls are waiting out there to fight you? How many black girls or Hispanic girls are waiting to fight you? A lot, right?”

Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Norma Fernandez has said the incident is under investigation and that the teacher will be disciplined if it can is confirmed he is the one who made the hateful remarks.

Last year, Dickinson High School teacher Howard Zlotkin was suspended after a rant where he called George Floyd “a f***ing criminal” and the student who recorded the remarks and gave them to Pix 11 has since sued the district for allegedly ignoring her requests for help.

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