Black Spanish Teacher Fired for Using the Word 'Negro' in Class
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

be newsPetrona Smith, an Afro-Latino Spanish teacher, was fired from New York City’s PS 211 in March 2012 after a seventh-grader complained she was using the word “negro.”

But the teacher insists she was teaching a lesson on colors and was using the word “negro” for the color black. She is now suing the city.

“They haven’t even accounted for how absurd it is for someone who’s black to be using a racial slur to a student,” said Shaun Reid, Smith’s attorney. “Talk about context! There’s a lot of things wrong here.”



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Makkada B. Selah is a journalist based in New York City.