Stolen Mouse Causes Teacher to Post Derogatory Message To ‘Ethnic’ Student
Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A Louisiana high school teacher is under investigation over allegations that he posted a disturbing in-class message aimed at minority students over a stolen computer mouse.
The message popped up on the whiteboard of a math classroom Thursday at Pickering High School in Leesville. The message began by welcoming students to Room 312.
“To the moronic, self-obsessed ethnic who stole the mouse from the back computer: The fact that you do not know both your parents, and that the so-called adults that are caring for you cannot afford a five-dollar part because they are too busy buying drugs and coring cigars at the Shop-Rite does not change the fact that you are nothing more than a two-bit thief and a waste of carbon and oxygen,” the angry message stated.
The message went viral after a student in the class snapped a photo of the whiteboard and posted it to social media.
“Only Mr. Perez,” the student, Brittny Taylor, wrote in her Facebook post.
Kay, who said that he would reach out to the teacher again Monday morning, told the Daily Leader that the sentiments expressed in the derogatory message do not reflect those of school district officials.
“This is not in line with our stance, and we will deal with it quickly,” Kay said.
Superintendent James Williams reiterated Kay’s comments in a statement of his own.
“The Vernon Parish school system does not condone or support this kind of rhetoric,” Williams told the newspaper. “This in no way shall reflect our sociological and cultural attitude. It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated!”
It was not known Monday afternoon if the district’s investigation had been completed.
Taylor, a senior at the school, told Buzzfeed News that the message was on Perez’s whiteboard when she walked into class Thursday morning. The teen said Perez did not know who stole the computer mouse, but thought his message was funny.
“When I first walked in, he was walking around the class saying whoever took it is probably on food stamps and welfare,” Taylor said.
Some former students and parents alleged that Perez has made similar statements toward students in the past.
Area residents were divided on the issue.
“So, this happened at Pickering High School,” a man named John Putnam wrote. “Doesn’t seem very professional. But does sound like Pickering.”
Several former students stood up for Perez, who they said was bullied and made fun of by their classmates.
“When I went to Pickering High during my senior year, Mr. Perez was a really nice guy,” Aaron Kristopher Nicholas wrote on Facebook. “He always got bullied and people constantly made fun of him. But he did his best and he was nice to me and to many other students.”
Nicholas said he does not justify the message on the whiteboard, but said students should not have stolen from the teacher.
“If this upsets somebody, then they need to get over it,” the former student wrote.
Another former Pickering student, Jordan McKenzie Wells, wrote that Perez is one of the best teachers at the school.
“Since everyone wants to talk about the negative, as always, here is some positive,” Wells wrote. “When the guys didn’t shave their facial hair, he has extra razors and shaving cream so they wouldn’t be sent home. On occasions, he let us take our math tests home and finish it.”
Wells wrote that Perez also cooked for his students almost every Friday and tossed them candy and fruit as rewards for participation in class. She said he would get angry at students acting up in class, but said it was because “(they) started it.”
“We didn’t cry to Facebook or our parents that our math teacher yelled at us and called us kindergartners,” Wells wrote. “Because we knew that’s how we were acting.”
Perez did not respond to a request for comment from Buzzfeed News.