A white teacher says Chicago public school officials and his black principal violated his civil rights when they suspended him for using the N-word in front of a classroom full of black sixth graders, according to a lawsuit.
Calling the incident a “teachable moment,” Lincoln Brown, 48, said he used the word in class at Murray Language Academy last October after he caught two girls passing a note with a rap lyric containing the slur, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The social studies teacher said he was discussing the use of the word in the context of movies, music and books, including the novel “Huckleberry Finn,” when the principal, Gregory Mason, happened to walk in.
“I asked them, ‘What would you feel if I used that word?’” Brown said. “I used the full word, but I didn’t address it to the students. I was very careful about that.”