Brigitte Geiger and Sharon Jones were fired from their jobs as gym teachers at Mount Olive High School in northern New Jersey for referring to their Black students as “Negroes,” reports NJ.com.
Both women, who had been teachers for 30 around years, had their their tenures revoked in addition to getting booted after a year-long investigation of the March 2, 2012 incident .
At the time of the incident, two students overheard the women griping derogatorily about their Black students in the school’s locker room and informed officials. According to the students, Jones said, “Yea, those Negroes think they are tough (expletive).” Geiger then responded, “Yeah, that’s all they are, just a bunch of Negroes, Negroes, Negroes.”
Both students, who are unnamed, had to provide handwritten statements to school officials. Both student’s accounts of the facts as they occurred with regards to overhearing Geiger and Jones’ conversation were similar, except one of the statements had more expletives in it.
The case was investigated and the women were brought up on six administrative charges by the district’s superintendent Larrie Reynolds.
According to NJ.com, judge Tiffany Williams, who oversaw the case last July before an Office of Administrative Law court, stated in her decision, “Both Geiger and Jones’ own testimony revealed frustrations with a group of African-American students at the school, which tends to lend credence to the credibility of the complaining students.”
Williams, who only ruled on the charge of unbecoming conduct, dismissed the pair for their conduct, “including their lack of contrition.”
After Geiger and Jones lost their OAL case, the women then took their battle to the state education commission and on October 8, they too supported Williams’ decision. So after both Geiger and Jones had been working administrative jobs, mostly in libraries while they awaited their fate, they were officially released from their jobs on October 8.
Reynolds told NJ.com, “It’s unfortunate that it occurred. We wish the employees the very best in the future. We have an obligation to our students and staff to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct. We take that seriously, and unfortunately, in some cases, it warrants action like this. This was an unfortunate incident and we had to do what we thought was right.”