FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Video shows a Forsyth County high school principal using the N-word while talking to a student, school officials have confirmed.
The student recorded the conversation with East Forsyth High School Principal Jeff Cheney on Sept. 9. The video does not show Cheney, but the school acknowledged that the recording does feature Cheney’s voice.
Cheney has since apologized.
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In the video, Cheney appears to be trying to explain racially offensive words to the student.
“What am I calling you that is so bad?” a male student is heard asking in the video.
“Cracker. Cracker is slang for white and it’s the antonym to (the N-word), which is a very offensive comment, right?” Cheney is heard saying. “So it’s almost like saying that to a white person.”
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In a statement released to Channel 2 Action News, officials said Cheney and two staff members met with a white student about the student’s continued use of offensive language.
“The goal of the meeting was for the student to understand that we must all be sensitive and respectful to others,” officials said.
Unbeknownst to Cheney, the student recorded the meeting and then shared a portion of it with others.
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According to the statement:
“In the 0.38 second recording Mr. Cheney says, ‘Cracker is slang for white and it’s the antonym to (full N word), which is a very offensive comment.’ He immediately recognized his mistakes in comparing the two words and using the full N word. Mr. Cheney contacted the district office and met with the parents of the student to disclose this information, apologize, and commit to rectifying these mistakes in the future. He is not at school today.”
School officials said that the district believes that “at no time and in no context should any variation of the N-word be used.”
Officials said students and adults both make mistakes, and they believe everyone can learn from the incident.
Channel 2′s Tom Regan talked to parents Monday, who said they were shocked at Cheney’s comments, but equally shocked about the student’s words.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Chris King said. “We teach our kids to be right and teach our kids to be respectful.”
No disciplinary action was taken against Cheney. The student’s identity has not been released.
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