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Family Sues Palmdale School District After Teacher's Racist Tirade Recorded Over Zoom

PALMDALE (CBSLA) – The family of a Black sixth-grade student has filed a lawsuit against the Palmdale School District after a teacher went on a racist tirade that was recorded over Zoom back in January.

The boy, a student at Desert Willow Fine Arts, Science and Technology Magnet Academy in Palmdale, struggled with his online platform and had difficulty accessing the system for instruction, according to his mother's claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit.

The boy's mother, Katura Stokes, says she contacted school officials often for help and was instructed to follow up with her child's teacher, who then scheduled a Zoom call with Stokes and her son.

The teacher accidentally stayed signed onto Zoom at the end of the session and began a "racist, inflammatory rant" about the boy and his mother that went on for more than a half-hour, according to the claim.

"These parents, that's what kind of pieces of s--- they are. Black, he's Black, they're a Black family," a woman can be heard saying in video provided by Stokes' attorney to CBSLA.

"You've taught him to make excuses that nothing is his fault," the woman says later. "This is what Black people do, this is what Black people do. White people do it too, but Black people do it way more."

School district spokesperson David Garcia told CBSLA that the incident occurred on Jan. 20. The teacher was immediately put on paid  administrative leave and had resigned within three days.

The boy's mother recorded the rant because she could not believe what she was hearing and thought no one would believe her since the comments were so outrageous, according to her attorneys, who said the teacher can be seen drafting an email to the boy's other teachers in which she repeatedly mocks and denigrates his mother.

The district said it has made several attempts to contact the family, but has been referred to their attorney.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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