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Students And Parents Speak Out About Sacramento Teacher's Racist Comments

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Students and parents are speaking out after CBS13 first played you an audio recording of a Spanish teacher in Sacramento using racist language in front of students.

Seventh-grade Spanish teacher Katherine Sanders said the n-word twice, claiming it's ok to use in casual conversations. Students can be heard, upset in the recording.

"I know the f-word is something we hear constantly. It used to be a nasty ugly word and now it's like the word (n-word) which everybody says or (n-word.) Which used to be a horrible ugly word as well and it's not anymore somehow," said 7th-grade teacher Katherine Sanders.

"I didn't really know what to say," said a student we spoke to who was in the Spanish class. She wasn't comfortable going on camera, nervous for the negative response from classmates and teachers, but she did want to be heard.

"In my head, I was like wow, I've been called the n-word before so it didn't affect me like I was crying my eyes out but it was still sad," said a Kit Carson student

They were confused after Mrs. Sanders claimed it's OK to use the word because other people do.

"Where I live, I hear it all the time," says Mrs. Sanders in the audio recording obtained by CBS13.

"It doesn't matter what area you live in or if it's an overly used word or not it's still not something to say," said the Kit Carson student whose mother is wondering if the teacher has used the word before.

"Anything that can roll off of the tongue so easily -- it's not a first-time thing," said the Kit Carson parent.

Sacramento City Unified School District sent an email to the Kit Carson community. They're providing counseling and support for students while they investigate, adding, "This incident is deeply troubling, especially because it occurred in a classroom meant to be a safe haven for our students to learn and grow. "

"When you have a teacher saying these types of things it's not inclusive," said Angel White who's a Kit Carson senior in Student Government. "You feel so comfortable in this space, you're not a good teacher."

We asked one Kit Carson parent how they expect the district to respond.

"Of course we're in a pandemic I would hate to see anybody lose their job, but I think some education and serious counseling needs to happen with this particular teacher."

We asked a Kit Carson parent what she wants her daughter to know about the words used in her classroom.

"Anyone that does use the word towards her or in front of her does not truly care about her or her feelings," the parent said.

The email sent to the Kit Carson community said the district is investigating and is providing counseling to students. CBS13 asked if the teacher was still employed. We were told by the district that they don't comment on personnel matters.

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