Education

White teacher loses a week’s pay for comparing black student to a slave

Apex Middle School teacher suspended for comparing student to a slave

An Apex Middle School teacher captured on video comparing a student to a slave has been suspended. The teacher is heard on this video telling the student he was being controlled by kids just as slaves were controlled by owners. Ayona Wilson said h
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An Apex Middle School teacher captured on video comparing a student to a slave has been suspended. The teacher is heard on this video telling the student he was being controlled by kids just as slaves were controlled by owners. Ayona Wilson said h

A white Apex Middle School teacher is losing a week’s salary after he compared a black student to a slave – the second punishment issued in recent months to a Wake County teacher over a racially charged classroom incident.

Dick Wesendunk’s suspension with pay was changed to a suspension without pay on Monday, according to Lisa Luten, a Wake County schools spokeswoman. She said Wesendunk’s five-day unpaid suspension runs through Friday.

Citing state personnel laws, Luten said she couldn’t discuss why Wesendunk was docked a week’s pay.

But a video posted on Snapchat on May 10 shows Wesendunk, Apex Middle’s physical education teacher and football coach, yelling at a seventh-grade student at the school. Wesendunk was suspended with pay while the district investigated.

“Did I call you a n-----?” Wesendunk says in the video. “No, I said you are being controlled, by kids. That is exactly what happened to the slaves. They were controlled by their owners. You’re letting him control you and you’re the one who’s getting in trouble.”

Wesendunk, who has worked at Apex Middle since 2010, has a salary of $67,600. He did not immediately respond to an email Thursday afternoon.

The mother of the student who was compared to a slave wants the school system to apologize and to ensure that her son will not be targeted by teachers and students.

Mother Ayona Wilson discusses an incident between her son and a teacher at Apex Middle School in which the teacher compared her son to a slave. The teacher has been suspended.

A similar punishment was recently issued to another Wake teacher.

In March, a white Wake Forest High School teacher was suspended without pay for five days for not doing enough to stop the racial harassment of a black student that led to the teenager throwing a white classmate to the floor. The confrontation was posted on social media.

T. Keung Hui: 919-829-4534, @nckhui

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