By Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com
MASON, Ohio — The mother of a young black student is upset after a white teacher told him he might be lynched if he did not focus on classwork, reports say.
According to WLWT Channel 5, Tanish Agee-Bell says the teacher at Mason Middle School, Renee Thole, admitted that she told her 13-year-old son, Mason, “If you don’t get back on task, your friends are going to form an angry mob and lynch you.”
Agee-Bell tells WXIX Channel 19 that she thought her son made a mistake and must have misunderstood what Thole said.
“I was just taken aback because I said, ‘What you said is actually worse than what he said you said,'” Agee-Bell tells WXIX. “He had told her, ‘That’s racist.'”
Agee-Bell says her son might have been distracted or talking too much, but she say’s Thole’s comments crossed a line. Nathan has been removed from the teacher’s class.
A Mason School District spokesperson confirmed to cincinnati.com that the exchange between Thole and Mason occurred in December.
“As educators, sometimes we mess up. And clearly that happened here,” Mason Schools spokeswoman Tracey Carson said. The district credited Mason for challenging Thole’s reference to lynching.
Thole did apologize to her class, which is mostly white students, and said her intentions were not harmful, cincinnati.com reports.
The district has not said if Thole will be disciplined but has said she will receive training, WLWT reports.
Agee-Bell tells cincinnati.com she is not happy with the district’s response.
“I believe Mason is a community that is OK with the way it is,” Agee-Bell said.
“I want the district to take ownership of this and to work to make the environment better for all students,” Agee-Bell tells WXIX. “They said they want to have a safe nurturing environment for all students. My son doesn’t feel safe and that’s not OK.”
Mason is located just northeast of Cincinnati.