Teacher uses racial slur in classroom; Ventura County school district apologizes

A teacher at Rio Mesa High School used a racial slur in class earlier this week, prompting an official apology from the Oxnard Union High School District.

A Ventura County school district has issued an official apology after one of its teachers used a racial slur in class earlier this week, officials said.

Oxnard Union High School District officials emphasized that although the Rio Mesa High School teacher’s “intentions were to educate students about the harmful effects of this word, his actions were not appropriate.”

Rio Mesa, located just north of Oxnard, “is addressing this matter and ensuring the safety and well-being of those affected by this wrong on our part,” the district wrote in a statement. “We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been negatively impacted.”

The incident occurred Wednesday in a mathematics classroom and involved “a derogatory and hurtful word for our African-American students,” according to district Supt. Penelope DeLeon.


DeLeon said the teacher who used the slur is a tenured, veteran instructor, but she did not disclose how long he has been with the district or employed at the high school.

When asked about the teacher’s status or whether he will face discipline, DeLeon said, “I cannot discuss confidential personnel matters.”

Rio Mesa will partner with the local NAACP “to receive training and education on appropriate and acceptable terminology and cultural awareness as related to any historically marginalized and/or discriminated groups,” the district said in its statement.

“Rio Mesa High School and the Oxnard Union High School District stand for equity, support and protection of the safety, security and human rights of all our students, staff, faculty, parents and community. We are opposed to any language which is offensive or harmful to anyone based on gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability.”