An online petition has gathered more than 1,300 signatures on behalf of a popular Virginia high school teacher who was kicked out of the classroom earlier this month for using a racial slur.
The petition claims history teacher Lynne Pierce, who is white, did nothing wrong when she uttered the “N-word” during a discussion with her students at Heritage High School in Newport News about racism, derogatory terms and the nickname of the Washington Redskins. Heritage is 90 percent black.
“She is a history teacher, she cannot be censored for teaching terms and beliefs that people had throughout history,” the petition says.
Pierce, a teacher for 40 years, landed in hot water Sept. 18 when a student in her Advance Placement U.S. History class brought up the Redskins and asked her what was the big deal.
"The kids kept saying, 'It's no big deal, it's a football team,'” Pierce told the Newport News Daily Press Thursday. “I said, 'How would you feel if people had a team named after another group?'"
WTKR-TV reported Thursday that Pierce then said to the class, “What would you think if someone started a team called the Newport News N----r?”