Education

'She targeted me': Wake County sub accused of making offensive comments to elementary students

Posted February 11, 2019 10:58 p.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2019 4:34 p.m. EST

— A Wake County family said a substitute teacher took things too far with a group of 10-year-olds after she allegedly made offensive comments during class.

Nathan Byrd said when he arrived to music class on Friday at Rand Road Elementary School in Garner, he found a substitute teacher in charge. But, he says, the lesson she had planned had nothing to do with music.

"She basically targeted me," he said. "She said, 'If y'all keep doing what you're doing, you're going to go to jail'. So, I stood up in front of the class and I said, 'So, you're basically going to predict my future that hasn't even happened yet?'"

Nathan said he believes it was because of his appearance.

He also said that the teacher brought up President Donald Trump, prompting him and other students to file a report with administrators.

His parents are still stunned by what happened.

"I was in shock," said Nyla Byrd, Nathan's mother. "I can't believe that this actually took place. We hear about it all the time, but you never imagine it happening to you...I was just speechless for a while."

Billy Byrd, Nathan's dad, said he shared the story on social media with the hopes to fight against discrimination he believes his son and other students faced.

"When racism hits your door, you only have two options. And for me personally, I think you can either open the door and let it come in and submit to the foolish behavior...or, you can resist and fight back. In my position as a father, and as an African-American man, my position is to fight back."

WRAL reached out to officials with the Wake County Public School System for a statement.

"Late Friday afternoon, the principal and staff at Rand Road Elementary talked with several students about comments made by a substitute teacher. The day ended before staff was able to fully understand what happened so additional conversations will take place Monday," the statement said.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson with Wake schools said the substitute teacher had resigned.