A secretary at Ouachita Parish Junior High School, Lousiana was forced to resign after making racist comments about Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a series of text messages to a colleague.
It all started when Walter Geno McLaughlin, who describes himself as an artist, activist, and organizer, shared on Facebook, a video that contained a screenshot of Nelwyn Fontana’s Facebook profile, alongside a screenshot of her alleged texts.
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Fontana appeared to have sent messages to a person called “coach” where she referred to MLK Day as the “n-word day.” MLK Day celebrates the Civil Rights leader who protested racial discrimination in the United States. She also referred to King Jr. as “Mark.”
McLaughlin wrote in the post shared to Facebook: “Nelwyn Fontana is office secretary at Ouachita Jr High in Monroe, LA, and took time on this #MLKDay to let us know how she really feels about honoring Dr. King. What she didn’t realize is that she accidentally sent her hate-filled message to the wrong person. These are the type of people we entrust to educate our children. …From what I understand the school district allowed her to resign but there are many who feel like she should’ve been terminated.”
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The school confirmed to KTVE that the messages were real and they “do not condone any racism.” Fontana has been slammed online by parents of children at the school and community members. She departed from school late last week.
In the screenshot of the message, Fontana informed the coach about MLK Day, which is a federal holiday, which was coming up. “N***** day lol mark Luther king,” she wrote, according to the screenshot. “Huh? Say what? Where that come from,” the other person responded.
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“Remind your play[ers] Sunday [we’re] off Monday. For Mark Luther King Day Monday,” Fontana continued.
In a letter addressed to the parents, Principal Darren Wheeler confirmed the secretary’s departure. “Unfortunately, on Friday evening, a text message which contained a racial slur from an employee was brought to our attention. That employee is no longer employed by the Ouachita Parish School System. We do not condone any racism in our schools and community,” the principal said.