A former student at Lake Harriet Community School recently took to TikTok to recall the time a teacher told them “statistically Black kids are not as smart as white kids and you are proving this to me,” for speaking out of turn.
Set to the audio of “I’ll never forget you” by the noisettes, used on the app to reminisce on a past encounter, the now-viral Tiktok shows the student calling out an old teacher, Deborah Hansen, for the racist remark.
Journalist Iris Perez shared the viral video, noting that another parent confirmed it followed a pattern of behavior for the teacher. Perez also acquired what seems to be the only response from Lake Harriet Community School and the district, an email sent to parents saying the incident was under investigation, but that they would not share any other details at this time.
The letter, addressed to the “Lake Harriet Community,” says that creating a welcome, affirming culture is part of their ongoing work. But, a look at the school demographics, where under 3% of students are Black, in a district where they represent over a third of the student body, raises serious questions about the racist, abusive messaging Black students are enduring at this school.
In the rest of the video, which now has over 90,000 views on Tiktok, the student calls Lake Harriet “my racist middle school,” with another caption stating “where they allowed other children to call me the n-word.”
Deborah Hansen appears to have deleted her LinkedIn page (shown in the video) following the claims.
Josh Stewart considers himself a global citizen first and foremost and is passionate about cultural exchange. He has a B.s. in Political Science and Hispanic Studies from St. John’s University in Minnesota and experience as both an ESL and social studies teacher in Korea and the Philippines. He currently works a digital content Manager for Citizen Education and Education Post and enjoys both traditional and creative methods crafting messages around the desperate need to improve our education system and provide quality options to the most marginalized students and families.