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Sacramento City Unified teacher under fire for condoning the 'N word' during a 7th-grade class

Community activists have developed a list of demands for the district, including the immediate firing of the teacher in question.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Spanish teacher with the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) is under fire for allegedly using the "N word" in a class with 7th graders at Kit Carson International Academy.

Now, community members are coming out with a list of demands for the district, including firing that teacher. 

The alleged incident happened a couple of weeks before school ended in Katherine Sanders' classroom.

"She said that the 'F word' used to be a nasty, ugly word and she said that it's similar to the 'N word' and that people can say the 'N word' now without being racist," said a student who was in that class.

That 7th-grade student and her mom, both Black, didn't want to go on camera over the fear of retaliation from the district.

"I can only imagine how uncomfortable and how shocked she was to hear an educator say something like that, not once but twice," her mom said.

But the student told ABC10 this wasn't the first time the teacher used that kind of language.  

"I wasn't baffled, I guess because she's made some uncalled for comments before," she said.

Other students confirmed similar allegations.

"I was there once in 7th grade when I had her as a teacher. She said it and I felt very hurt because it's been used to be discriminative and stuff and I think it's time for a change," Noah Razo said.

Razo, 15, said it happened when he was in Sanders' class three years ago. 

"It hurts, you know it hurts people. It's got a lot of past and stuff and it's time to change," he said.

That's why activists like Berry Accius, founder of Voice of the Youth, are calling for change.

"She had the audacity to utilize and simplify a word historically that has created a wedge and has created much damage in the African American community," Accius said.

The change he is hoping for starts with a list of demands for the district which include firing Sanders and the mandatory anti-bias/anti-racist professional development training, removing the clause to opt-out, among other things. 

"Without the removal of the opt-out clause, the system of racism is allowed to remain, thereby allowing more opportunities to harm our students," Conrad Crump, a community activist said.

Superintendent Jorge Aguilar says they have an ongoing investigation and Sanders was removed from her summer school classroom two days ago. 

"I want to be clear that I stand in solidarity," Aguilar said.

And Aguilar says all of their demands are reasonable recommendations. He claims he is now working with labor partners to make sure that mandatory anti-racist training happens before the fall, by extending their working calendar by two days. 

"What happened here at Kit Carson is not going to be condoned, is not going to be tolerated. Any comment using a racial slur suggesting that it is somehow OK today is absolutely not going to be tolerated," he said.

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