COVINGTON, KENTUCKY (FOX19) - A Northern Kentucky teacher served a one-day suspension Friday for allegedly referring to a student as a racial slur.
An Employee Reprimand from the school says Jacqueline Dowling was speaking to another staff member when she said that she, "wished (student) would stop acting like a 'porch monkey.'" The report indicated Dowling believed the term meant "lazy," and when she realized the student was offended, she looked up the meaning.
The report says Dowling proceeded to apologize to the male student and went on to call his mother to apologize to her and explain what happened. The reprimand form says the parent accepted the apology and requested "no further action be taken."
FOX19 NOW spoke with Tri-State community leader Bishop Bobby Hilton about the weight those words carry.
"To call someone by that term is a racist attack," Hilton said. "Usually, individuals would do that to call an African American lazy … it is very offensive. To call someone any type of monkey is offensive."
In addition to suspending Dowling for a day without pay, Covington Independent Public Schools is also requiring her to complete the Safe Schools Training Diversity Awareness Staff-to-Student course. The matter is also being reported to the Educational Professional Standards Board.
Covington Independent Public Schools had no further comments to add outside of what was outlined in the reprimand.
FOX19 NOW attempted to contact Dowling via email and through the school administration without success.