Billy Byrd says that a substitute teacher at Rand Road Elementary School in Wake County, North Carolina told his 10-year-old son Nathan that the boy’s athletic clothing looked like “prison attire” and claimed Martin Luther King Jr. Killed himself.
Byrd explained the bizarre situation to WTVD:
We always dress him with the best attire we can afford. For her to say that him having athletic wear or attire on was going to put him in a position to go to prison, that really bothered me the most.
Byrd told said the substitute was supposed to show the music class a video, but had difficulty getting students to calm down, so the teacher falsely claimed that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination was a “complete fabrication”:
What book is she reading and obviously it’s not the right one, and for her to say this to a classroom full of kids, giving them that misinformed information is just bogus. We can’t afford to have anybody in the school system that is teaching this damaging rhetoric to any kid — white or black.
Byrd said the substitute teacher gave students an “ultra-conservative” ideology of the Bible:
If you don’t go off the theology that you perceive Donald Trump to be as a Christian, that you’re some way hell bound or wrong.
When she brought it to that level, I think that’s when I as a parent, father, and African-American say listen this is wrong.
A Wake County Public School System rep said the substitute teacher’s status is “frozen” while the matter is being investigated.
Byrd and his wife said they are also proud of their son:
He liked the fact that me and my wife..we stood up for him. He had those necessary tools that he was equipped with prior to that situation taking place.
So for him to be able to stand up for truth and to correct that teacher when she made that blatant lie that Dr. King committed suicide…and say “no that is inaccurate information, that did not happen,” that made me feel good as a father to know that he followed my instruction. For that, I am eternally proud and grateful.