Valerie Scogin, a ninth-grade math teacher at Slidell High School who drew a torrent of criticism following a racially charged Facebook post, is no longer an employee of the St. Tammany Parish school system.
A spokeswoman for the system would not say Tuesday whether Scogin was fired or resigned, saying that it is a personnel issue.
On Monday, another spokeswoman had said that the teacher had been disciplined but did not elaborate, also saying that it was a personnel matter.
Scogin, a 2003 graduate of Slidell High who has worked at the school her entire teaching career, drew fire when she responded to a Facebook posting by a Slidell High graduate concerning the controversial Nike ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand during performances of the national anthem.
It featured a picture of an angry man making an obscene gesture with the words "If you're upset about Nike choosing Kaepernick for the Just Do It Campaign, 'Just Ignore It' like you do police brutality and racial injustice."
Scogin, who posted in a discussion on that post, said, among other things: "Want to not be stereotyped, tell people of that color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating the stereotype." Kaepernick is African-American.
Skylar Broussard, a Loyola University student who graduated from Slidell High in 2017, said she was glad that Scogin is no longer working in the school system.
"I think she got what she deserved," Broussard said. While she said that Scogin was a good teacher who did a lot for her students, she doesn't think that someone who engaged in what she described as "hate speech" should be working with children or members of minority groups.
"I still think she should be gone," Broussard said. "It shows her true colors and true intentions and feelings."
On Monday, schools spokeswoman Meredith Mendez said that Scogin had voluntarily removed the Facebook post and had been disciplined.
But Tuesday, spokeswoman Angela Davitson sent the following statement:
A Slidell High School math teacher has been disciplined for incendiary comments she made on Facebook last week regarding the Nike ad featuring…
"When this situation was brought to our attention, the school system launched a full investigation, and the teacher involved was allowed due process. This process has been completed, and the teacher in question is no longer an employee of our school system."
Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn's anti-Nike policy faced growing criticism on Monday, forcing him to defend a ban on Nike apparel purchases by Kenner re…
It continued: "This incident does not reflect our district’s values, mission and vision, and we remain committed to providing a school culture that is inclusive and meets the needs of all our students, employees and community."
Scogin did not return a call for comment. Her Facebook page has been removed, as have her postings on the former student's page. But the responses others made to her post remain; several of them said she should not be a teacher.
Joshua Dillon, a 2013 graduate of Slidell High who is black, was one of the people posting in the thread when Scogin joined in. He said he understands that people have different points of view, but that he found her comments harsh and objected to her blaming black people for the struggles they face.
Among other things, she posted that people should move if they don't like their ZIP code, ignoring the economic difficulties they face, Dillon said.
"To be a teacher and think that, it's very hurtful ... it's really racist to refer to them as animals," said Dillon, who added that Scogin had never seemed to harbor such views when he encountered her at Slidell High.
Scogin had also posted an apology on her own page, but Dillon said the apology made him even angrier because he felt she didn't take responsibility for the offensiveness of what she had said.
Casey Kelly, a 2008 Slidell High graduate who had commented on the issue on his Facebook page, said Tuesday that he is glad the school system "will not tolerate educators who exhibit racist tendencies," and is proud to be an alumnus of a place that takes those issues seriously.
"I'm hoping the school and the students heal from this and continue in the tradition of diversity, inclusiveness and sensitivity," he said.