Madison West building

For the second time this school year, a teacher at Madison West has reportedly used a racial slur. It's the fifth incident that's happened this school year across the Madison School District. 

A substitute teacher at Madison West High School has been dismissed and will not return to the Madison Metropolitan School District after allegedly using a racial slur in the presence of a student, according to Principal Karen Boran.

Boran said in an email to parents on Tuesday afternoon that the incident was brought to the attention of school officials this week and the district's investigation is complete.

"No matter the context or the circumstance, the use of racial slurs is unacceptable in our schools and throughout our community," Boran wrote. "It does not represent who we are at West or in MMSD and will not be tolerated."

It's the second time this school year a staff member at West has used a racial slur in the presence of students, and the fifth incident across the district. The preceding incident at West took place Nov. 12, 2018, and the teacher no longer works at the school.  

A teacher at Hamilton Middle School used the n-word with a student at the end of October 2018 and resigned a few weeks later. A substitute teacher at East High School used a racial slur in the presence of students on Nov. 9, 2018, before being removed from the district. 

In December of last year, a teacher at Jefferson Middle School allegedly used the n-word in the classroom. The Jefferson teacher emailed an apology to parents and said they would leave the school following the incident. 

In November 2018, Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham wrote a memo to all staff addressing the incidents. 

Andy Waity, the present of Madison's teachers union, said that month that the string of incidents has increased the group's focus on race and equity. 

Sign up for Cap Times newsletters:


Education Reporter

Negassi Tesfamichael is the local education reporter at The Cap Times. He joined the paper in 2018. He previously worked as an intern at WISC-TV/ and at POLITICO.