A Slidell High School math teacher has been disciplined for incendiary comments she made on Facebook last week regarding the Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick.
"The posting was voluntarily removed," said St. Tammany Parish school system spokeswoman Meredith Mendez. "The appropriate disciplinary action has been taken. I can’t comment further due to this being a personnel matter."
UPDATE, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday: This teacher is no longer employed at Slidell High School. Read the update here.
Slidell High alum Skylar Broussard said her blood boiled when she read the comments posted by Valerie Scogin on another graduate's Facebook page.
"They don't have to live in that country. They could go back," Scogin posted. "But it was their own people selling them into slavery to begin with and tearing (sic) them even worse in those countries of origin."
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She continued: "Want a better neighborhood? Move. You don't have to choose to live in those zip codes. Want to not be stereotyped, tell people of that color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating the stereotype," she wrote.
Scogin, who is listed on the school's website as a 2003 graduate who has taught there since 2008, is loved by her students, Broussard said.
But when people began challenging her statements, Scogin argued with them before ultimately saying she was sorry if people were offended, Broussard said.
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…
"Recently I posted a comment that may have been hurtful to some of you," Scogin wrote on her own Facebook page. "In my reaction out of frustration at another Facebook post, I made some remarks that were against my better judgement and sensibilities. I now wish I hadn't."
Scogin went on to say that "the last thing I want to do is hurt anyone. I apologize for what I said and sincerely wish to avoid this in the future."
The St. Tammany school system has an electronic communication policy that forbids employees from being on social media platforms with current students, but it does not address the content of what employees say online. Scogin did not return a request for comment Monday.
Broussard said she doesn't buy the apology, saying that she found it deeply offensive as a person of color.
"Imagine comparing people of color to animals, then when you get caught you try to say you didn’t think it would hurt anyone," she said.
Slidell High School has a lot of minority students, Broussard said, and while she was there she said the school showed a commitment to equality. "I never felt any racial tension or problems," she said.
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Another Slidell High alum, Casey Kelly, who is white, agreed that diversity is valued there.
"In the coming days, I hope my friends at Slidell High School and St. Tammany Parish Public School System take this to heart and believe what has been shown to them," Kelly, who graduated in 2008, said on Facebook.
"Leadership should take action to condemn racism in our public schools in no uncertain terms. I have always been proud of the spirit of diversity, inclusion and sensitivity at SHS, but am disheartened by tonight’s display and hope corrective action is taken. The community is watching."
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