CHICAGO — Some are hoping a longtime history teacher at Mother McAuley High School in Mount Greenwood, who was recently fired for using the N-word in class, gets a second chance after 41 years.
During a history lesson at the all-girls Catholic school on Friday, teacher Mary DeVoto said the N-word twice while trying to explain to her sophomore class that the Washington Football Team’s former team name is offensive to indigenous people.
“I was really just trying to tell the children is to say the R-word is just as abhorrent as to say the N-word to African Americans,” DeVoto said.
DeVoto said she knew instantly what she said was not OK and continued on with the lesson. The explanation, captured by a student who frequently records lectures to listen back for studying, was shared with other students and on social media.
DeVoto was suspended Friday and then terminated on Monday. Since then, her daughters have started a petition to get her reinstated. At this time, it has more than 3,000 signatures.
“To me it doesn’t reflect what I’ve done for 41 years and I would want the administration to work with me and help me bridge this problem with my students,” she said.
Right now, the school is standing behind their decision in the following statement:
“As an educational institution, we recognize mistakes happen to each one of us, and we make every effort, regardless of the popularity of such decisions, to embrace the opportunity to learn from such teachable moments. To embrace mistakes means we must learn not to repeat such behaviors, to demonstrate clear remorse and to be able to rebuild trust that has been lost.”Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School
Some parents also shared on social media that they feel the termination should stand.