Original article from Kent Live
A video has surfaced on social media of a member of the support staff at Wilmington Academy repeatedly using racist language in a conversation with a student.
Though not directed at anyone in the video, the support worker – who is white – repeatedly asked a black student why the use of the N word was offensive, and why she was not allowed to use it.
In the clip, which was posted to Snapchat and then reshared on twitter, does not identify the teacher specifically, with her face cropped out of the video, though there is little ambiguity in the context of what is being said.
The video, below, contains very strong language that some may find offensive.
Signing up to the KentLive newsletter means you'll get the latest news direct to your inbox twice a day.
It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your email address in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
You can also sign up to our website and comment on our stories by pressing here and signing in.
The caption on the video reads: "[my] Old school is tapped, the school is backwards I swear, welcome to Wilmington."
The teacher can be heard using the word liberally and repeatedly, as she appears to recognise the dark historical context and emotional baggage the term was born from:
"The slave time [sic], slave trade, that's a lot of where that word came from, yep," she said – before audibly lowering her voice before saying the racial slur a third time in the clip.
The use of the N word by anyone other than black people is an almost universally recognised taboo, making it all the more shocking that a school employee would question whether it should be used to pupils.
It is little over 55 years since the word was used as a political sloganeering tactic in the UK, with Conservative MP Peter Griffiths winning the west-midlands Smethwick seat on the slogan "If you want a [N-word] for a neighbour, vote Liberal or Labour."
As such, the use of the term to disparage black people in a public and official capacity – let alone the continued use of it as a form of racial intimidation and abuse in the present – is hardly in the distant past.
A statement has been made by Wilmington Academy following the incident:
"Yesterday evening we were made aware of a video circulating on social media that appears to show a member of our support staff at Wilmington Academy using a racially derogatory term during a discussion with a student.
"The member of staff involved has now been suspended pending a full formal investigation into the incident.
"The student in the video will receive any necessary support they require from senior leaders and specialist trained staff.
"Wilmington Academy and Leigh Academies Trust does not tolerate the use of any racially derogatory language by staff or students and treats any such breach extremely seriously.
"As a Trust we serve a diverse community that expects us to uphold the highest standards of equality and inclusion and as such we will be taking proactive steps to prevent any incidents like this occurring in the future."