SALT LAKE CITY — A white Utah teacher violated school district policy by using a racially charged word in his junior high class, an official said.
Weber School District spokesman Nate Taggart said appropriate administrative action was taken against history teacher Douglas Barker. Taggart declined to provide further details, citing the teacher's privacy rights.
Barker used the N-word before showing his class of 8th graders the Civil War movie "Glory," Taggart said.
"That is not appropriate language to use in any classroom context," Taggart said.
Barker said in an email Wednesday that he was making sure his students understood why the word would be used in the film. He said he told his students that it is not an appropriate term.
The film "Glory" follows an all-African American volunteer company fighting in the Civil War.
"My intent has never been to offend, only to teach for understanding with historical context," Barker said in the email.
Parent Holly Frye, who is black, said her 14-year-old son doesn't feel safe at school anymore after the teacher spent an entire period last month saying and defining the word at South Ogden Junior High School.
She said the curriculum doesn't include anything about talking about what the word means.
"If he were at a KKK rally, I guess that would be OK, but he's in a public school system," Frye said.
Frye said she was told the movie will no longer be allowed in junior or high school classes.
Barker also violated district policy by showing the PG-rated version of the movie without permission from the building administrator and students' parents, Taggart said.
The original version of "Glory" is rated R, but Barker said he showed his students an edited version.
Frye believes her son was shown the R-rated version.
Movie theaters require that all children under the age of 17 who see an R-rated movie be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Taggart also said Barker had the confederate flag in his classroom last year and took it down voluntarily.
Frye wants to see the school district take further action in response to the incident, including providing all administrators with sensitivity training. She would also like to see Barker removed from his post as a history teacher.
She said she wants to "teach Mr. Barker that he cannot get away with using his classroom as a stance to preach his racist rhetoric."