PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — A Pflugerville ISD teacher accused by parents of making racist comments during a conversation with students in a Bohls Middle School class is no longer working for the district, according to a letter from Pflugerville Superintendent Douglas Killian.
KXAN reported Friday the teacher had been placed on administrative leave after video of the conversation was posted on social media and given to the district.
The letter states the teacher is “no longer employed” by the district after the “inappropriate conversation” as of Monday morning.
The video shows an unnamed teacher sitting with students. The teacher can be heard saying “deep down in my heart, I am ethnocentric, which means I think my race is the superior one.”
“Let me finish… I think everybody thinks that, they’re just not honest about it,” the teacher said.
Following the comments, a middle school student can be heard saying “I am not racist. I like all kinds.” Another student said, “I actually respected you for a while, but now I don’t got no more respect for you.”
“It was my first time seeing, hearing someone say they were racist and admitting to it,” Rhema Benjamin, who was in the classroom when the comments were made, said.
“When I saw the video I was floored and confused,” Rhema’s mom Millicent Benjamin said.
Rhema said the interaction last week started when he walked in wearing a BLM sticker on his shirt.
“He told me I couldn’t come in his class wearing it so he made me take it off,” Rhema said.
Rhema, an eighth grader at Bohl’s Middle School, said things escalated from there.
“And then a student threw a pencil across the room and me and my friend said if that were us we would have gotten in trouble so we asked him if he was racist,” Rhema said.
The Benjamins are proud of how their son and his friends responded.
“I am happy the children had enough courage within themselves to be able to get this on tape and be able to report it to the administration,” Millicent said.
“We believe in equality for everybody and my son is an example of that and I am very proud of what he did,” Andy said.
The superintendent wrote an apology “to any parents whose students [were] included in the video without their knowledge,” acknowledging the video had been shared on social and prompted local and national media attention.
“We want to reiterate that this conversation does not align with our core beliefs and is not a reflection of our district or our culture at Bohls Middle School. Pflugerville ISD and Bohls MS staff work together to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our students. The advisory discussion was inappropriate, inaccurate, and unacceptable; and this type of interaction will not be tolerated in any PfISD schools,” the letter reads.
The district said it apologized “for the undue stress or concern this has caused” and would make counselors and administrators available for any students or families who want to talk.