Teacher sues CPS after suspension for n-word slur during ‘teachable moment’

By | February 17, 2012

A white teacher who says he was disciplined for using the n-word in a “teachable moment” about the perils of racism with his sixth-grade class has filed a federal lawsuit, alleging his black principal and Chicago Public Schools violated his civil rights by suspending him without pay for five days.

Lincoln Brown, 48, says he used the n-word in front of his majority African-American class at Murray Language Academy on Oct. 4 last year after one of his students passed a note to a girl with rap lyrics including the n-word.

Brown — who grew up in Hyde Park and has taught in black neighborhood schools for 21 years — “attempted to give his own denunciation of the use of such language” according to the lawsuit filed Thursday.

He discussed the use of the racial slur in Huckleberry Finn in an attempt to show “how upsetting such language can be,” but just as he used the n-word, the school’s principal, Gregory Mason walked into the classroom, the lawsuit alleges. (Chicago Sun-Times)

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