Seeking help with her son’s video schooling, a mother says she endured teacher’s racist rant

By: | March 30, 2021

Like a lot of overwhelmed parents trying to juggle a job and children studying at home during the pandemic, Katura Stokes turned to a teacher for advice on how to help her 12-year-old son, who was struggling to connect with the online learning platform at his Palmdale middle school.

Stokes and her son were relieved to hear from his science teacher that he was up to date on all his assignments. But just when they thought the Zoom session had ended, they said they listened in disbelief as sixth-grade teacher Kimberly Newman unleashed a rant, saying the child had lied and made excuses because “this is what Black people do.” Newman didn’t know Stokes was still on the call.

Stokes’ cellphone video recording of the profane and racist tirade in January is now at the center of a legal claim that charges the Palmdale School District with defamation, negligence, civil rights violations and infliction of emotional distress.

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