Malachi Pearson, a 10-year-old black boy, says a teacher used the prospect of his death in a police shooting to chastise him when he was goofing off at school.
The fourth-grader at Rosehill Elementary School in Lenexa, Kansas, told FOX 4 that he was playing around with a friend in a lunch line when the unidentified teacher intercepted and pushed the two children apart, assuming they were fighting.
“She told me when you turn 16 and the police shoot you, the only person you can be mad at is yourself,” he said.
Malachi said the comment made him cry. His father was shot and killed in Kansas City when he was just an infant.
Mahogany Foster, Malachi’s mother, said she was outraged when her son told her about the incident, and she pulled him out of Rosehill Elementary two days later.
“That was a low blow, and that was something personal,” she said of the teacher’s comment. “You shouldn’t say it to any child.”
Foster said the district assistant superintendent told her the teacher had been put on leave. But a representative for Shawnee Mission School District told FOX 4 that due to federal law, it cannot discuss any disciplinary actions against the teacher.
Rosehill Elementary School did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s request for comment.
One Twitter user shared Malachi’s story online on Monday, writing, “I don’t think people talk about the cruel things people in positions of authority say to Black children enough.”
“Black children face this type of stuff from the home to classroom and it’s extremely harmful. This teacher deserves to be fired.”
The post prompted many other people of color to share their experiences with racism in school.