A North Carolina math teacher is back on the job but under intense scrutiny after she told one of her students that one of her “bucket list” items would be to kill all black people. No, really.
Cynthia Ramsey heads up the math department and teaches math to high schoolers at Camden County High School in North Carolina. This week, Ramsey found herself in the midst of considerable controversy after she reportedly made some inflammatory racist remarks while in the classroom.
“It is very disturbing,” Kimberly Ashcraft, mother of one Camden County High student, told WAVY.
A few weeks ago, Ramsey was in her classroom with Ashcraft’s daughter and several other students who were eating lunch. In the course of a conversation with Ashcraft’s daughter, Ramsey turned the topic to what she would do if she knew she was going to die.
“Mrs. Ramsey [indicated] that if she only had 10 days to live that she would kill all black people,” Ashcraft told WAVY. The remark left the student and the student’s mother dumbfounded.
“I was completely shocked,” she continued. “I asked her again, ‘Are you sure that was what you heard?” I could not have imagined a teacher saying that.”
Ashcraft told her daughter how serious the charge was, saying that she would need more confirmation that Ramsey had indeed made the shocking remark. When school officials found out, they began an investigation of Ramsey’s alleged remarks and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office was called in.
According to the sheriff, several other students that were in the classroom at the time confirmed that Ramsey had indeed said she would kill all black people. The teacher was placed on suspension with pay, but she is now back in the classroom. Ashcraft is not happy about that latter fact.
“I was very disappointed to hear that she was back in the classroom so soon,” she said.
The superintendent of Camden County Schools said said that the board was “thoroughly” investigating the incident and collecting facts. He characterized it as “a personnel issue,” noting that the board was following protocol in the investigation and that the facts of the case would remain “confidential until resolved.”
The context of Ramsey’s remarks is as yet unknown, but she could be in considerable trouble even if she was joking. Camden County’s sheriff said that he has turned over evidence to the district attorney and Ramsey could well face charges depending on the attorney’s opinion on the case.
WAVY’s attempts to contact Ramsey were unsuccessful. The school board plans to discuss Ramsey’s case on November 13 and Ashcraft hopes that justice will be served.
“As a parent,” she said, “I felt compelled to come forward and tell somebody, because this was not only in my opinion a direct threat to the black children in the school, but also black people in the community.”