McFarland School District equity coordinator resigns after use of racial slur

A McFarland School District staff member resigned Monday following an incident where she used a racial slur when addressing a concern from a student.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 7:55 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A McFarland School District staff member resigned Monday following an incident where she used a racial slur when addressing a concern from a student.

The McFarland School District held a school board meeting Monday night, accepting the resignation of District Equity Coordinator and McFarland High School Associate Principal Anne Nichols.

In her resignation letter, Nichols said she said she was “addressing a concern that a student had said the ‘n word’ to another student” in September. She says while asking clarifying questions, she stated the full word.

McFarland Trustee Edward Wreh says the community is looking ahead.

“How do we fix this?” Wreh asked. “How do we help these kids be successful? I have said this before and I’ll say this again--these kids are our future. They are the next leaders of this world and we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to them to make sure they feel safe and feel respected and they are given the best chance to be successful.”

Masood Akhtar says he knows her well and has worked with her through the student movement group called “We are Many- United Against Hate.” He said situations like these need to be slowed down and people need to be asked questions along the way.

“You have to be very careful because you are now playing with a steward’s life,” said Akhtar. “So what you want to do as the administrator is to find out what those facts are.”

McFarland Superintendent Aaron Tarnutzer said the district’s next steps are listening to students of color and families about their experiences. They’re also building a plan to address issues in the future. The district will be hiring an interim associate principal for the remainder of the school year and will hire a long-term replacement in the spring. Tarnutzer said that he and the director of teaching and learning would coordinate the remainder of the district’s educational equity efforts this school year.

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