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SCUSD's New Race And Equity Liaison Talk District's Move To Fire Teacher Who Used N-Word

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Back in June, CBS13 received an audio recording of a Sacramento City Unified school teacher using the n-word in front of students.

CBS13 confirmed with sources and then the district itself that the foul language came from Kit Carson Academy Spanish teacher Katherine Sanders.

"Kids are not supposed to learn things like that at school," said SCUSD parent Joann Vasquez.

Seven months after CBS13 broke the story, the school district has moved to fire Sanders – but what took so long?

"We have to go very methodically to make sure the investigation is comprehensive," said Mark T. Harris, Sacramento City Unified School Districts new equity and social justice monitor. "She was accused until we came to a conclusion that the accusations were accurate."

Sanders has been suspended without pay but still isn't officially fired. So what does it take to fire a teacher?

Harris tells CBS13 Sanders is a tenured teacher, which makes the termination process more complex.

"They stay employed unless they do certain things that show they shouldn't be employed. Using the n-word on more than one occasion rose to that level as far as the district is concerned," Harris said.

But according to the American Federation of Teachers, no matter what the offense is, tenured teachers are given due process and cannot be fired without a fair hearing.

"She's got to provide her evidence, the district provides their evidence and then there is an independent person who makes the determination as to whether the district is correct or whether she should be reinstated," said Harris.

According to the California education code, Sanders' hearing has to occur within the next six months and then an official decision must be made.

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