Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Teacher accused of telling black student he may be lynched

Teacher accused of telling black student he may be lynched

The white OH teacher who angrily told a Black student his classmates would form a mob and lynch him if he didn't focus will not be suspended or fired by the school district.

Agee-Bell has been a member of the school's diversity council for more than a decade, and she told the newspaper about racial tensions in the affluent suburb north of Cincinnati. "And clearly that happened here", Mason Schools spokeswoman Tracey Carson said.

"As educators, sometimes we mess up. And clearly that happened here" - but failed to say if Thole was subsequently disciplined.

The district did not remove the teacher from the classroom.

The Journal-News reported that Thole was reprimanded and told in a letter from officials that "comments that make reference to harming a student are not appropriate even in jest", especially "when they make reference to lynching an African-American male student".

Tanish Agee-Bell said she initially did not believe her 13-year-old son, who is an eighth-grader at Mason Middle School.

The incident involved a student named Nathan and occurred during a December class at a Mason City school. The boy is a jokester who can be heard singing just about everywhere he goes.

"[My son told us] his teacher had told him that if he didn't get back on task, that his friends were going to lynch him, and we thought he must have misunderstood", Agee-Bell said.

Agee-Bell told reporters that the training isn't a clear punishment. She said the teacher acknowledged telling her son that if he didn't improve his focus on schoolwork that his friends were going to form an angry mob and lynch him.

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NAACP statistics show 3,446 African Americans were lynched between 1882 and 1968.

"He had told her, 'That's racist.'" Agree-Bell has since removed her son from the classroom. "I don't know if she's racist, but I know that what she said is racist". Thole said she didn't mean it "the way it came out", and apologized to the child in her statement to the administration.

Agee-Bell has had her son pulled from Thole's class. "It was unbelievable (Nathan) was courageous enough to confront the teacher".

Agee-Bell told Fox 19 she was shocked. "Today is a day where we can learn the importance of thinking before you speak", she said.

In it, Agee-Bell said officials thanked her for coming and said they take race issues seriously.

"I said to him, [.] get to work", Thole wrote.

"That's not a clear punishment", she told the Enquirer. Paperwork about the incident and the training classes were added to her school records Thursday (Jan. 11).

On Friday, Kings officials were planning to address students from Kings High School about the racist jerseys as part of a regularly scheduled group meetings. School employees tweeted about the event using the hashtag, #MasonShines.

Agee-Bell said she doesn't allow Nathan to play with Airsoft guns because she fears neighbors will call police, and she blames herself for moving to Mason. "That's not satisfactory at all", she said. She's thought about pulling her children from the district, but wants to stay and face these race-related issues head-on.

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