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Monday, January 15, 2018

Mom Wants Teacher Fired For Telling Her Son He Might Be Lynched

Black mom and son from Ohio

Tanisha Agee-Bell and her son, Nathan

Mason, OH — A white teacher in Ohio who told a black boy student that his classmates will form a mob and lynch him if he doesn’t “get on task” is not going to be fired nor suspended.

Renee Thole, the social studies teacher at Mason Middle School who made the “racist” remark to Nathan, the 13-year-old student last December, was advised to undergo counseling and cultural training instead, according to the Mason City School District.

However, Tanisha Agee-Bell, the boy’s mother, was not content with the decision. In an interview, she said, “That’s not a clear punishment. That’s not satisfactory at all. I still want her out of the classroom until she gets that training.”

In over 15 years of her teaching in Mason Middle School, Thole’s personnel file shows mostly positive feedbacks and no disciplinary action yet.

The incident happened on December 4. Agee-Bell recounted what his son reluctantly told her, “He was in class and the teacher told him that if he didn’t get on task his friends are going to form an angry mob and lynch you. When she said that, he said back to her, ‘That’s racist.’ She approached him and said, ‘Why do you think that’s racist? I would never do anything to hurt you.”

Nathan’s mother called Thole on December 13 to complain and Thole apologized, upon the mother’s request, in front of the class on December 14. In her statement, she said, “If I had just taken two seconds to think before used the world lynch, I would have not hurt a student. I didn’t think about all of the ugliness and horrible history surrounding that word before I used it. (redacted) I am deeply sorry and I hope that you can forgive me.”

According to the NAACP, more than 3,440 African Americans were lynched in the United States from 1882 to the height of the civil rights movement.

Nathan is not in her class anymore. But Thole is still teaching, and Agee-Bell is not pleased with it.

“For me, that’s enough for her, as a social studies teacher especially, to be removed from the classroom,” Agee-Bell said. “I don’t know if she’s racist, but I know that what she said is racist.”