A Louisiana high school teacher named Valerie Scogin landed in hot water today after one of her Facebook posts drew ire from the community who found her comments incendiary. According to the New Orleans Advocate, Scogin, who works at Slidell High School as a math teacher, posted a comment to a Slidell High alum’s Facebook page about the recent Nike ad featuring former 49ers football player Colin Kaepernick.
“They don’t have to live in that country. They could go back. But it was their own people selling them into slavery to begin with and tearing (sic) them even worse in those countries of origin,” Scogin wrote. She went on to say that individuals who wish to live in a “better neighborhood” should simply move.
“Want to not be stereotyped, tell people of that color to quit acting like animals and perpetuating the stereotype. Many are average people; the few ruin it,” the schoolteacher wrote. She added that people should stop perpetuating stereotypes and that they should pay their taxes.
A Slidell High School alum named Skylar Broussard saw Scogin’s post and was incensed by her initial comments as well as Scogin’s continued arguing with those who disagreed with her comments. After receiving a number of complaints, Scogin eventually apologized for offending people.
“Recently I posted a comment that may have been hurtful to some of you. In my reaction out of frustration at another Facebook post, I made some remarks that were against my better judgment and sensibilities. I now wish I hadn’t,” Scogin posted on her personal Facebook page. Scogin graduated from Slidell High in 2003 and began teaching there in 2008. According to Broussard, she is well-liked by her students. When asked if she believed Scogin’s apology, Broussard said she didn’t buy it and found her comments extremely offensive as a woman of color.
“Imagine comparing people of color to animals, then when you get caught you try to say you didn’t think it would hurt anyone,” said Broussard.
The St. Tammany Parish school system issued a response following the incident. “The posting was voluntarily removed. The appropriate disciplinary action has been taken. I can’t comment further due to this being a personnel matter.”
Another Slidell High alum, Casey Kelly, said that she hopes that the leadership of the St. Tammany Parish school system takes action and stands against racism whenever it occurs. Though she says she never experienced any issues while at Slidell High, she says that the incident with Scogin was disheartening and hopes the school board decides to take action.
“The community is watching,” said Kelly.