An Evanston mother is outraged after she found a racist message on her son’s eLearning computer.
Nicole Preister said her son’s Google Classroom homework should read ‘mark as done’ when he completes an assignment, but said she was stunned when she saw the word ‘done’ replaced with the n-word.
“It was unreal but it was like I was baffled. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Preister said. “This is the equivalent of somebody going into your home and spray painting absurdities and racial slurs all over your house.”
Preister said her son is hurt by the use of the racial slur.
“I did ask him how is he feeling about what he saw and he said he felt like he wanted to cry,” Preister said. “Coming from my 11-year-old who is tough as nails, to hear him say that is heartbreaking.”
Preister said she contacted Evanston/Skokie School District 65 which issued a statement following the incident.
“We strive to create an inclusive, welcoming environment (even in virtual spaces) and we will not tolerate the use of racial slurs or derogatory language of any kind,” the statement reads.
School officials contacted Google and told Preister the company said no one on the administrative level or teachers are able to alter such phrases or buttons in Google Classrooms.
“We are in a racially tense environment right now so this may not be the last time he is exposed to anything of this nature,” Preister said. “I did use it as a teaching tool to let him know that there are really mean and nasty people that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. That just means that you have to be careful.”